Finding Mr. Banksy

December 23, 2014 8:28 PM

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Big Eyes is the story of a husband and a wife, and a defining moment in history where art and commercialism intersected for the first time. Before there was Warhol, there was Margaret and Walter Keane. Walter, a con artist, took credit for the true artist, Margaret's work for years. As a maniacal salesman, he twisted the truth to serve his means, and invented the system of mass art reproduction. The frenzy surrounding the Big Eyes paintings marks the birth of the 'pop art' movement, and eventually redefined what it means to be 'kitsch.' The historic relevancy alone is enough to pique my interest, but I have a more personal connection to the paintings as well.

When I was kid, the first piece of real artwork we ever had in our home was a 'Big Eyes' print by Walter Keane -- or so we thought. My Dad Max bought a Keane print at the corner store on 48th Street around the corner from his office in the diamond district. It was a seminal day for me and a seminal ...

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