Lifestyle Book Reviews

Book Review: Big Eye Art

By Sandy Amazeen May 18, 2008, 6:34 GMT

Book Review: Big Eye Art

In the late 1950s, throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, such artists as Margaret Keane, Gig and Maio created a new kind of mass-produced art known as ‘big eye’. Now big-eye art has undergone a major revival, but with a twist: the wide-eyed, endearing waifs of the earlier movement have transformed into fairies, mermaids, demons and myriad otherworldly beings, including the famous ‘Blythe’ doll. This extraordinary book showcases the ...more

First popularized in the 1950’s and ‘60’s by Margaret Keane’s waifs and Gig’s “pity kitties”, big-eye art has enjoyed a recent resurgence thanks in part to the emergence of a new generation of artists inspired by those early works. This collection includes the bios and musings of twenty-two big-eye fantasy artists with a full color sampling of their work. Many of the artists got started creating big-eyed art for their own amusement and from there, have merged the style with Gothic and fantasy elements as shown in this compilation. This is especially true of the work of Jasmine Becket-Griffith as seen in Dark Dragon or The Secret of Notre Dame with its strong Underworld ties or the fairies of Lindsey Cormier. Kelly Haigh’s work is disturbing in much the same way as Salvador Dali’s with a strangely twisted view of reality. Fantasy cats take center stage in Carrie Hawks striking pieces while Joanna Nelson presents an updated look to the classic “pity kitty” theme. A nice representation of the latest in big-eye art, complete with artist contact information that is sure to spawn an entirely new generation of collectors and quite possibly, new artists as they see the many possible directions of this unusual style.

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