In all seriousness… someone probably needs to write a thesis about Margaret Keane’s influence on the art world as viewed through a feminist lens. I’m… not gonna be that person because it’s a little out of my depth… but speaking laconically… Keane did paintings that looked like this:
What people seem to know about her is that her art is commonly called “kitsch” and that her ex-husband tried to pass her art off as his own. Some animation fans might also know that her artwork inspired both the works of Tim Burton as well as the big eyed looks on Craig McCracken’s The Powerpuff Girls.
That said… I don’t think enough people realize that her art’s probably the main influence on the art movement we know today as Pop Surrealism, a movement popularized by an artist named Mark Ryden. His stuff looks like this.
If his art looks familiar, he’s the guy who did the album cover for Tyler the Creator’s Wolf.
Not all pop surrealists have taken after Mark Ryden’s style (Ron English, for example, seems mostly inspired by advertising and comic books, and his stuff is maybe a bit more reminiscient of, say, Andy Warhol)… but a lot of Ryden’s contemporaries still use similar big eyed waifs.
A closely related art movement that seems to have some overlap with Pop Surrealism is the Superflat movement, spearheaded by Takashi Murakami. And while Murakami himself doesn’t have many big-eyed waifish girls populating his artwork, many other artists under that label actually do.
Now… to say that Keane is the sole influence on any of these artists is terribly reductive and ignores the cultural context in which most of these art pieces are created… but you can’t deny the resemblance. Hell, Ryden even features an explicit homage to Keane in this painting.
That skirt? a reference to this piece by Keane.
I dunno… it feels like this woman was screwed over by the art world… her works were never given the same respect Ryden and his contemporaries get. Her husband and her critics were bad enough… but now we have entire art movements built around the style and subjects she developed… and she’s still considered kitsch? She deserves better than that.