Charles Blackman is famous for his Alice in Wonderland and Schoolgirl series and his haunting images of sad girls and women, often absorbed in day dreams, oblivious to reality or detached from their surroundings. His unique approach was inspired by poet Barbara Patterson, who became Blackman's wife in 1951.
She had poor sight, and relied on Blackman to be her “eyes.” This sharpened his own observational skills, leading him to focus on the face. His figures invariably have large, expressive and often dark eyes.
Blackman was born in Sydney on
Blackman moved to
Numerous awards and solo exhibitions in
But Blackman developed a cynical view about the business side of the game, saying it did not have much to do with money unless you were “an art dealer, bank manager or crook.” Having given away or sold most of his best paintings for little, he filled his home with his works, but only copies, dryly remarking he was “too poor to afford an original Blackman…”