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Vintage Big Eye Art is New Again

Updated on September 7, 2014

Do you remember the big eye art from the 1970s?

I have a few prints. Still among the packed up stuff from my last move a few years ago. (Yes, we all seem to have stuff we carry around that way). Even though I don't have my big eyed girls up on the wall I won't be donating or selling them. They were a feature of my childhood bedroom, one of the few things I have been able to keep all these years.

The artist of the original big eye art was Margaret Keane. But, she wasn't the only one producing the style. My favourites come from Maio, Eden, Goji and Ward. These seem harder to find.

Big Eye Art: Resurrected and Transformed
Big Eye Art: Resurrected and Transformed

I bought this book a few years ago, when it was just new out in the stores. I loved seeing the modern versions of big eyed girls. So many new versions, ideas and so much creativity.


Vintage Big Eye Girls

Big Eye Art and Artists

Big Eye Art is Becoming "Collectible" Due to the Movie about the Life of Margaret Keane

As I began looking for fresh links for the big eye girl art I discovered a movie coming out about Margaret Keane and her husband Walter, who had long taken credit for the art. Likely due to the upcoming movie there has been some new interest in big eye art and the prices on eBay have gone to less than $10 for a single (or even a set of 2 or 3 prints) to over $30 for one print. Most of the prints for sale on eBay looked rough. Big eye art was not hugely collectible, until now it seems. So the prints were not given much tender, loving care.

The New Big Eye Art

New artists have taken up the style (genre) of big eye art. Most of these have taken the sad big eye look and spun it into fantasy or horror. For me this does stray from the original art because they lose the mystery and simple sadness of the original theme. If you can see what is making her sad the art doesn't have that allure of mystery and wanting to see deeper, to know what is behind those sad eyes.

Of course, the new art is beautiful with a lot of fantasy and creativity. Now and then I do find an artist who captures the original qualities too. I think it is more fun or just easier to sell the art which includes things people know (old horror stories, science fiction and dragons, mermaids, etc). So although there is a renewed interest in big eye art it has lost something in the transformation.

Big Eye Art Links

Not so long ago I could buy big eyed art prints for next to nothing. Few people thought about them, they were just old 1970s styled junk. I could find them at garage sales and thrift stores. Not any longer. Since becoming vintage and trendy the old prints are in demand and becoming expensive (for old junk).

It is nice to see new artists inspired by the old art. If you can't find or afford vintage big eyed girls take a look at these creations.

Big Eye Girls

© 2014 Laura Brown


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    • profile image

      Jaz Higgins 2 years ago

      Yay for "big eye" art! :) Thanks so much for including me in the list.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 3 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I have a couple of these prints too.

    • Seasons Greetings profile image

      Laura Brown 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Brite-Ideas: I used to have a row of pictures on my wall. My sister took a couple and I have no idea where they ended up because she tends to throw everything away. I wish I had been able to find more of them for myself over the years since. Seems they would appear in garage sales for just that short time. I guess having online shopping keeps people from putting out art and whatever they think may become collectible.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I had forgotten about this art!