I remember seeing the preview for Village of the Damned at a drive-in when I was a kid. There I was in the backseat of my folks car in my pjs, trying to stay awake, longing for the trip to the snack bar for the milkshake-in-a-can, when huge glowing eyes appeared on the screen; they were the children in the Village of the Damned. I never saw the movie, but I had nightmares about those kids and those eyes for years. Which brings me to Keane paintings.
As a kid in Hawaii we had a family friend who was a sculptor and he used to take us to different art gallery shows. I have no idea why we ended up at a showing of Keane paintings, but I remember them. Oh boy, do I remember them. Even as a kid I knew what I was looking at was dreadful. I've often thought that we must have gone there as a joke, but the only other person alive who was there with me has no memory of it. For some reason really bad art sticks in my brain, vividly. It's like the time I ended up in a gallery in Carmel of Thomas Kinkade paintings and after a few moments I headed for the door hoping to never see another one of his pieces. Boy was I wrong on both accounts. The public took a liking to Keane and Kinkade. Hucksters, both of them. The images of both have been plastered on everything, everywhere. Sometimes it's like living in the Village of the Damned when you can't find a way to escape all the commercialized schlock.
So here we have two kids standing amongst the posies looking like they'd rather be anywhere than where they are. Subjects for a Keane painting? Living inside the world of a Kinkade painting? Or just kids from the Village of the Damned?