Portrait A Priori
As director Tim Burton's film Big Eyes nears its theatrical release on December 25, the moment seemed just right to visit one of the more unique chapters in the history of the l.a.Eyeworks portrait ad campaign.
In July 2000, to celebrate the opening of the exhibition "Margaret Keane and Keanabilia" at the Laguna Art Museum, l.a.Eyeworks' signature portrait campaign made its first-ever departure from Greg Gorman's stunning black-and-white photographic portraits to a 2-D illustration. The face was Margaret Keane's famed 1962 painting of a young woman entitled "Escape," digitally accessorized with a "Pan" frame design by l.a.Eyeworks.
The survey exhibition, sponsored in part by l.a.Eyeworks, marked the troubled but triumphant journey of Margaret Keane from ghost painter (hidden for years behind her then-husband Walter, who publicly claimed credit for the beloved paintings) to prevailing in a 14-year legal battle to establish herself as the true creator of the famed eyes.