The works are said to be done by Tretchikoff who is known for weird and out of norm scenes or characters but are not. They are done by Giovanni Bragolin who produced the crying boys series of painting in Venice for tourists. Reproductions of the works were sold world-wide and the series found in South Africa were distributed by Band-Aid. They are unsigned and can be found in all matter of frames as they came to the collector in a roll tube.
In the 1970’s Band-Aid launched its first series of plasters. Up to then strip plasters were unknown. One bought plaster in a roll and it was generally of a fabric type with strong glue. Plastic rolls came out just before strip plaster was released. A purchaser of the product had to collect 4 coupons from the back of the box and then post these with a fee for postage in the form of a stamp to the offices of the company. In return the collector received a roll of the painting chosen. Some collectors were lucky and received all for 4 according to the number of coupons submitted. At the time I was a child on a farm and the workers used a lot of plasters so I was lucky.
Both unsigned and signed works exists as Bragolin would repaint and sell the works. The signature and name may vary. The characters are so life like that it is rumoured that the eyes follow the rooms occupants. The most famous of the 65 works are the two shown here which were almost to be found in every home in South Africa.
A superstition grew up around the one known as the crying boy due to a spate of fires caused by outdated electrical house wiring. The BBC released this video to show the curse of the crying boy. In the video you can see that this is not the same painting.
Rumours ranged from having to hang the little girl across the room from the little boy to stop the tears to the paintings being indestructible by fire.
Here is the myth of the crying boy.
Band-Aid released 4 painting in their drive to combat the depression and raise awareness for their new product.
These works have become highly collectable due to the fable and differing signatures.
These works have remained popular and in demand due to the artists policy of free share whereby he allowed companies to use his work on a payment for marketing and allowed media houses to display his work in print and reproduction.