Margaret Keane ?
Well, some people mindlessly refer to her work as insignificant or worse yet kitch, but no one will ever convince me of such blasphemy. If the story of Maragret's battles to win the rights to her own artwork aren't enough to gain your respect there is also her admirable creative process, heartfelt sentiment and of course the haunting paintings themselves.
There are those who will readily debate her importance, but there is no question that her work was important and viable enough to inspire a legion of imitators and also-rans...Margaret Keane did in fact single-handedly create an entire genre of art.
Does the fact that the paintings seem confined to a specific era or that they were reproduced in the tens of thousands as inexpensive reproductions and readily available for the consumption of Middle America detract from their legacy ?
Does it matter that years after their initial appearance that they were fated to flood the swap meets and thrift stores of the nation ? I don't think so, actually i think it's befitting that the images continue to resurface and find new homes and that the current interest and resurgence of all things Keane continues to thrive and flourish. The exhibit at the prestigious Laguna Art Museum has been a long time coming and has as expected been greeted with resounding accolades. To finally meet the woman herself and to hear the story in her own words proved to be quite a revelation for me...
In the art realm seemingly filled with unending superlatives and gratuitous ass-kissing or on the other end of the spectrum out and out libelous slander i'd like to just say quite simply that because of Margaret Keane's existance the world is somehow a much nicer place.