Open Letter to artist Margaret Keane about belonging to a cult


Margaret Keane, Painter Behind Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’ | KQED Arts

January 12, 2015

Dear Mrs. Keane,

I watched with great interest the movie about your life and it was so impressive that I went back to go see it a second time and I told my friends about it. Furthermore, I have done several posts on my blog discussing the movie and your artwork. I hope you have a chance to look it over at .

I thought about you yesterday (January 11, 2015) when our pastor Mark Henry was preaching his sermon and he finished with this passage from the 8th chapter of the Gospel of John:

53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.


Then Mark comments:

Now when Jesus says here, “Truly, Truly before Abraham was I AM.” Jesus is making a powerful statement about who he is. Jesus is in essence saying, “I am God.”

I remind you of an encounter that Moses had with God at a burning bush. He was questioning the burning bush, and God himself and asking God who Moses should say has sent him and what his name is and God says out of the burning bush, “I am who I am.” Jesus is making the strongest declaration of who he is.


Mrs. Keane, I am glad that you were honest and told the truth about painting these wonderful paintings but I want you to take a moment and consider the fact that Jesus did claim to be God when he said he was the great “I AM.” Why else would the Jews pick up stones and attempt to stone him? 

Keep up the good work with the paintings.

Everette Hatcher, P.O.Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, cell ph 501-920-5733

Big Eyes Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Tim Burton, Amy Adams Movie HD

Kaitlin Goodey wrote the following:

Friday Feature – Margaret Keane

Margaret Keane

Today I thought I would share an artist that has a direct effect on my art work!  This wonderful painter has been an inspiration to me far before I actually new who she was!  From a young age I’ve loved thrift stores, garage sales, and antique stores.  You can find many prints or similar style paintings like Margaret Keane’s in those locations.  So I was exposed young to the beauty of big eyes.  Those big eyes have always pulled me in and tugged on my heart strings.  It’s as if the eyes speak to me.  Honestly I feel like a nut saying that, but the eye connection is so strong in some paintings its as close to a conversation as a painting can get for me! Margaret Keane Painting

So when I started sculpting my art dolls and my process started leading me in this big eye, unrealistic style, I decided to just go with it.  I really did try to sculpt realistic faces a few times but it usually just made them look even more alien like!  So I stopped fighting what I thought I had to make and embraced what was naturally happening!  That’s when I started researching other artists who use big eyes and really learnt about Keane’s history.

Margaret Keane Painting

I found it very interesting to know that her husband actually tried claiming he did the paintings!  I mean seriously what a poop!  So of course when they were getting a divorce in the best way ever she proved the paintings were really hers!  She painted out in the open right infront of the judge and everyone to show the work was really hers.  So when the husband was asked to do the same “I can’t I have a sore shoulder”.  Needless to say, she won the case and has continued to do HER work!

Margaret Keane Painting

As all artist progress and change through their life and career, Keane’s work has experienced shifts of change.  In her early career her characters or style were known as “Big Eyes”, “Sad eyes”, “Waifs” or simply known as “Keane”.  Many times a tear graced the characters cheek.  However, after the divorce Keane moved to Hawaii and while stylistically the same her paintings became brighter and a bit happier.  Then again later in life after joining a church her paintings became even a bit happier.  So when a tear graced a face, at that point it was of joy not sadness.

Margaret Keane Painting

Her work was highly criticised in the art world and yet they were some of the best selling art in the Western world in the early 60’s!  You may or may not like them yourselves, but there is no denying Keane’s influence on American pop culture!  A funny fact for me is that Tim Burton is a long time fan and collector of Keane’s work.  Going so far as to commission an art piece, and now working on a movie about her career and court battle with her ex-husband!  Although that movie has been talked about for a while, I’m still waiting patiently for something to actually happen with that!  I find it funny because I get so many people coming into the gallery saying “this is very Tim Burton like” or referencing him somehow.  Which I really don’t mind because I love his work, but in reality I didn’t even consiously think about his work when making mine!  I looked at a lot of Keane, Mark Ryden, and Katie Olivias for stylistic inspiration and a myriad of other art doll makers for technical know how.  So now seeing that our inspirations crossed paths is a funny little tidbit for me.

Margaret Keane Painting

Keane is now located in San Francisco where you can visit Keane Eyes Gallery and see her work first hand.  It is by appointment though so don’t be a dummy like me and think you can walk there and go right in.  Or you’ll end up peering through the windows like me!  Have you seen her work or similar work before?  Or have you seen how it has influenced pop culture at all?

DP/30: Big Eyes, Amy Adams

Big Eyes (2014) Q&A with Amy Adams, Margaret Keane & The Writers

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