Monday, July 27, 2009

Big Eyed Art and Kawaii Kids!

written by Cubist Mascot

OK readers, get ready for some kawaii art. What? We can’t have some culture here at KawaiiPunk? Today I’m going to tell you about the cutest of all the artistic movements, the “big eyed kids, animals, and stuff” movement. Popularised throughout the 1950s and 60s the “big eyed” (sometimes referred to as “sad eyes” or “waif”) style of painting could be found above the mantelpiece of many a discerning art lovers’ home.

The style itself was characterised, unsurprisingly, by the big eyed nature of its subjects, though that’s not to say there wasn’t diversity within the movement. Offshoots and subgenres were plentiful in the big eyed school of art. Harlequin, pity kitty, and pity puppy to name just a few! Styles of painting also differed within the movement. American and British exponents of the style, such as Margaret Keane and Dallas Simpson, were famed for their melancholic approach to big eyed art, as you can see here…

Big Eyed Girl and Boy by Dallas Simpson
In contrast their continental European counterparts favoured a more joyful and humorous approach to big eyed art. Cheeky child street urchins were the name of the game. Unfortunately, due mainly to not signing their works, many of these European artists have been unfairly forgotten in the world of big eyes. Thankfully however their masterpieces can still be found from time to time if you know where to look. Here’s a couple from my own private collection…

European Big Eyed Art
As the 1960s came to an end the popularity of big eyed paintings started to wane, although their influence could still be seen in the popular crazes of string art and macramé that came to define the décor of many a seventies living room - but that’s another story! If you’d like to get your hands on some big eyed art, then I suggest a visit to Etsy’s vintage section… ah Etsy, is there anything you can’t do?

Your most cultured culture vulture,
Cubist Mascot :)