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"This One's For You, Walt!"
March 6, 2006 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Thomas Kinkade, Painter of LightTM, seeks to "to touch people of all faiths, to bring peace, and joy into their lives through the images he creates." Not all of his side ventures have been considered successful. But now the Christian-themed artist is accused of ruthless business tactics and seamy personal conduct, including drunkenly heckling Siegfried & Roy and, um, wantonly marking his territory. Perhaps Kinkade hopes to follow in the footsteps of Jack the Dripper?
posted by maryh (110 comments total)

 
"It's mainstream art, not art you have to look at to try to understand, or have an art degree to know whether it's good or not," said Mike Koligman, a longtime fan who with his wife owns Kinkade galleries in San Diego and Utah.
posted by orthogonality at 12:33 PM on March 6, 2006


Art for blind people.
posted by iamck at 12:35 PM on March 6, 2006


Thomas Kinkade's paintings make my stomach turn. A more perfect depiction of hell simply cannot be produced by the human hand. Or in Kinkade's instance, the hands of sweatshop laborers. He truly is the NIKE of the art world.
posted by slatternus at 12:37 PM on March 6, 2006


My girlfriend worked for a Thomas Kinkade gallery a few years ago. It was so mismanaged that she left it after a few months and filed two lawsuits against them. She already thought he was a bad painter -- she used to delight in showing me examples of Kinkade's poor understanding of perpective, but I was more fascinated by the fact that some of these cabins were glowing from inside during full daylight, suggesting they may actually be on fire.

That being said, he inspires good parodies (via boingboing).
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:37 PM on March 6, 2006


"'This is God-given talent,' Karen de la Carriere said of a favored print, "Sierra Evening Majesty," with its snowy peaks, red-gold skies and smoke wisping from a cabin chimney. 'He is a modern-day Leonardo da Vinci or Monet. There is no one in our generation who can paint like that.'"

Let's hope God takes that talent back, and soon.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:38 PM on March 6, 2006


I nearly worked in a Kinkade gallery. As soon as I arrived for my interview I knew it wasn't for me. Luckiest escape ever. Although I'd probably be writing some entertaining anecdote about customers instead, if I had worked there.
posted by Navek Rednam at 12:39 PM on March 6, 2006


Thomas Kinkade eats babies.
posted by loquacious at 12:39 PM on March 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know, as crappy as "his" paintings are, you gotta love anyone who pisses on Disney.
posted by keswick at 12:40 PM on March 6, 2006


Drunkenly heckling Siegfried & Roy is a problem?
posted by sourwookie at 12:42 PM on March 6, 2006


There's a TK gallery in one of the local towne squares. I've had fantasies of getting some awful precious moments stickers and remixing some of the prints a la colorforms.
posted by ernie at 12:43 PM on March 6, 2006


I'd never heard of the marking the territory thing before, or anything about him being an asshole. But it has always mystified me how upset people get about his paintings. Yeah, they're overpriced. And they're certainly not fine art. but if people think they're pretty, and want to buy them, so what? It makes them happy, and it doesn't hurt anybody. It isn't like Kinkade is preventing people from appreciating art; it's not like the person who buys a Kinkade would be looking at good art if there was no Kinkade. Kinkade is art for people who don't like art. If people get some enjoyment out of his overpriced, kitchy paintings, let 'em. It isn't like he's forcing real artists to stop painting.
posted by unreason at 12:44 PM on March 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


while i hate thomas kinkade, the idea of pissing on famous icons doesn't disagree with me at all... and i question the wisdom of liberal/leftists who hate his christian message to appreciate newspaper articles that highlight activity like that -- after all, we should be encouraging it more often! In general, many of these celebrate-that-your-enemy-has-fallen-by-embracing-his-tactic pieces reek of daily kosism and doesn't seem to further our causes a bit.
posted by yonation at 12:45 PM on March 6, 2006


"'This is God-given talent,' Karen de la Carriere said of a favored print, "Sierra Evening Majesty," with its snowy peaks, red-gold skies and smoke wisping from a cabin chimney. 'He is a modern-day Leonardo da Vinci or Monet. There is no one in our generation who can paint like that.'"

Now that's comedy. There are thousands and thousands of artists out there, both insider and outsider, formally trained or not, who are better painters then Kinkade. Walk into any decently advanced evening community college oil painting class and you'll find at least one deft (and possibly daft) old retiree that's been doing this longer then Kinkade, enjoying it more, and doing a better job at it.

And this isn't even including the hundreds of thousands of professional artists and illustrators who could pull off Kinkade's tired, vanilla style but willfully choose not to.

Get Kinkade and Wyland in a room and let me at 'em. I'll murderize 'em... with light! sound waves color repetitive beats light, sound waves, color
posted by loquacious at 12:46 PM on March 6, 2006


He is a terrible, terrible artist (and maybe a bad businessman), but most of the muck raked in the LA Times article seems pretty light.
He cursed at a woman? Heaven forfend!
He urinated on Winnie the Pooh? Who among us can't say that they have felt that urge?
Feeling up a woman's breast is less excusable, but still pretty minor stuff even if it is true.
posted by AndrewStephens at 12:48 PM on March 6, 2006


I don't hate Thomas Kinkade, and I wouldn't tell people not to buy his paintings, but he makes art for people who hate art.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:48 PM on March 6, 2006


And they're certainly not fine art. but if people think they're pretty, and want to buy them, so what?

If only because there are literally thousands of talented, even "mainstream" artists that actually could use a slice of that pie in a way Kinkade could never appreciate.

Me, I hate him 'cause he sucks. He even sucks at sucking. I wish for him to be eaten from the inside out by at least a thousand penis fish.
posted by loquacious at 12:49 PM on March 6, 2006


Well, sure, yonation, I suppose it's mean to mock the guy based soley on the content of his paintings, but it IS apparent that he was defrauding gallery owners. Which isn't nice.
posted by maryh at 12:50 PM on March 6, 2006


So, I was working on telling my own story about browsing art galleries with a date, and how disappointed I was in said date's love of Kinkade. Like the relationship, the story didn't really work. However, I did come across the Kinkade Korner. Kooky.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:57 PM on March 6, 2006


Oh God. Thomas Kinkade was something of a joke in our Christian artists' group back in school. He was the epitome of campy, corny, crowd-pleasing kitsch, second only to Thomas Cole for sheer unashamed schlock. His art sits on the same level as today's Randian romantic realists, but with the taste of bourgeosie Christians rather than objectivists as his captive market.
posted by brownpau at 12:57 PM on March 6, 2006


Randian romantic realists

I had no idea such a thing existed, and wish that I still didn't.
posted by empath at 12:59 PM on March 6, 2006


My art comes from people who hate people who make are for people who hate art. Over 90% does.
posted by ernie at 12:59 PM on March 6, 2006


art damn
posted by ernie at 12:59 PM on March 6, 2006



"Owners of ten of Thomas Kinkade's galleries across the country are suing Kinkade's company, claiming it has "saturated the market with Kinkade's works and sold them on QVC cable television, undercutting 'exclusive' galleries. Once devout followers of 'the painter of light,' now are saying that the business end of Kinkade's empire has a dark side. The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) 08/18/02"

(The link is now a 404, unfortunately)

To hear that someone else is pissed off at the guy doesn't surprise me at all.
And bleah on all of the "God touched me" shit.
posted by drstein at 1:02 PM on March 6, 2006


Do we really need more reason to hate him than his paintings suck? The rest is just gilding the lily really.
posted by petrilli at 1:07 PM on March 6, 2006


brownpau writes "Randian romantic realists"

There are not words for the sheer awesomeness of the painting you linked to there. Upon seeing it, something inside me changed.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:08 PM on March 6, 2006


Your La-Z-Boy link is priceless, maryh.
posted by Superfrankenstein at 1:09 PM on March 6, 2006


Kinkade was a standard punch line when I was going to art school. Anyone who trademarks himself as an Impressionist (or a camera; we never could agree on what he claimed he was) deserves mockery.
posted by cmyk at 1:10 PM on March 6, 2006


Empire? Dark Side? You know, if Thomas Kincaid painted a portrait of Darth Vader, I might buy it. (Or at least steal a low-res image off the Web and put it on my desktop.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:11 PM on March 6, 2006


ernie, is that a Blur song?
posted by Hal Mumkin at 1:13 PM on March 6, 2006


I think it was a reference to "Taking drugs to make music to take drugs to"
posted by empath at 1:15 PM on March 6, 2006


I honor the man's every act. Without him, I wouldn't be able to torque off the designers at work with just two words. And Mayor Curley and I would have missed out on the joy of being pushed out of a gallery in the local mall for things like:

"What the artist is trying to say here is: there's a house. On a mountain."
posted by yerfatma at 1:16 PM on March 6, 2006


...he makes art for people who hate art.

I'm not a TK fan but is he really any worse than some guy throwing a pile of dirt in a gallery corner and calling it "art" (or Jeff Koons putting three basketballs in an aquarium)? Maybe if TK canned some of his shit he would be considered a great artist?
posted by MikeMc at 1:16 PM on March 6, 2006


There is a lot of bad art out there, but what you describe is much less popular than Kinkade.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:20 PM on March 6, 2006


if Thomas Kincaid painted a portrait of Darth Vader, I might buy it.

Of course it would be Darth Vader standing in a field of flowers, lit by a suffused, directionless golden light, while in the distance, kites dance faery-like around a charming rustic lighthouse.

Actually, I'd buy that.
posted by slatternus at 1:22 PM on March 6, 2006


well, the can of shit was actually a pretty canny (pun intended) comment on posery and BS in the artworld. As for Kinkade, I was unaware of his existence. I'm not a huge fan of his art (although I kind of understand the sentiment behind "you don't need a degree to get it"), but aren't artists supposed to be crazy? would you trust one that wasn't?
posted by jonmc at 1:22 PM on March 6, 2006


Oh, the horror. THE HORREUR! I can think of no one who better symobolizes the American I fear. And yes, me suspects that most of this businessman's products are attached to walls in Red State homes...
posted by ParisParamus at 1:24 PM on March 6, 2006


The idea that Mayor Curley could be in real life anything like what he is here is a beautiful one, yerfatma...
posted by hototogisu at 1:25 PM on March 6, 2006


slatternus - Is this close enough for you?
posted by brownpau at 1:26 PM on March 6, 2006


THOMAS KINKADE = SHIT MEAN KODAK
posted by loquacious at 1:31 PM on March 6, 2006


brownpau: AWESOME. The delicacy of form, the magical quality of the light. It's as though the master hand of Thomas Kinkade himself brushed ever so obliquely across the canvas, transforming it's coarse earthly weave into a radiant vision of luminous spirituality!

How much?
posted by slatternus at 1:39 PM on March 6, 2006


I just looked at some of Kinkade's stuff. Seems to be a Norman Rockwell wannabe without any of the charm.
posted by jonmc at 1:41 PM on March 6, 2006


Thomas Kinkade, Painter Of Shite.

Yonation, "daily kos-ism?" Puh-leez. The revelations are satisfying because they illuminate the hypocrisy of everything that is modern conservatism: fatuous, angels-and-puppies tripe thinly masking something grotesque, and often evil.

My personal appreciation for this article doesn't stem from any schadenfreude; it's just satisfaction that another opportunistic peddler of "wholesomeness" is exposed for what he truly is.
posted by scatman at 1:43 PM on March 6, 2006


And so when the show started, Thom just started yelling, 'Codpiece, codpiece...'

I have newfound respect for the painter of tripe.

Well, not really, but it did make me laugh.
posted by malocchio at 1:43 PM on March 6, 2006


Kinkade Remixed!
Courtesy of Something Awful's Photoshop Phriday.
posted by squalor at 1:44 PM on March 6, 2006



I couldn't resist.
Protected as parody under fair use law.
posted by brownpau at 1:46 PM on March 6, 2006


Where are all the people piping up to say "If you don't like his paintings that's fine, but don't bitch about it" or "You only hate them because they're popular" or "His paintings don't suck, they're just not your cup of tea!"

The fact that we aren't seeing people say these things in this thread is testament to a point I tried to make in the Cory Doctorow thread -- sometimes popular things suck and not just because they're popular!
posted by trey at 1:46 PM on March 6, 2006


I like Kinkade. I really do. If it weren't for Kinkade and few other artists the entire art world would be lost. It's only because of him and his courageous art that we can still talk about bad taste in art. I wish more artists had the courage to man the wall alongside him.
posted by nixerman at 1:47 PM on March 6, 2006


The fact that we aren't seeing people say these things in this thread is testament to a point I tried to make in the Cory Doctorow thread -- sometimes popular things suck and not just because they're popular!

Id say 1/3 of Cory's posts are still awesome though, where 0 of TKs works interest me. Just sayin'
posted by ernie at 1:52 PM on March 6, 2006


"I think it was Roy or Siegfried or whatever had a codpiece in his leotards," Dandois testified. "And so when the show started, Thom just started yelling, 'Codpiece, codpiece,' and had to be quieted by his mother and Nanette."

Great stuff. I love articles like this.
posted by cell divide at 1:58 PM on March 6, 2006


"This one's for you, Walt," the artist quipped late one night as he urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure,

See, at least he's not ALL bad.
posted by HTuttle at 1:58 PM on March 6, 2006


actually, my couch is dusty rose. Could Darth Vader be wearing a dusty rose cape?
posted by slatternus at 2:01 PM on March 6, 2006


And I suppose he lifted sofa-art up a notch from black-velvet-Elvis and pool playing poodles.
posted by HTuttle at 2:01 PM on March 6, 2006


Now, wait a second. Don't malign black-velvet paitings of Elvis.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:10 PM on March 6, 2006


This is what the world needs. Uplifting and inspirational art. I find it very refreshing. Art that celbrates life for a change instead of garbage being represented as art. www.cordair.com
posted by Patty Lynn at 2:14 PM on March 6, 2006


Aw, I say give the People what they want .... Beanie Babies, Thomas Kinkade, Hummers, seasonal holiday decorative house flags, QVC, and big ugly McMansions ... it keeps the folks busy.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:20 PM on March 6, 2006


Uh oh. This'll go well.
posted by loquacious at 2:22 PM on March 6, 2006


Zippy's take on the matter...
posted by dlanznar at 2:23 PM on March 6, 2006


Yes, especially since Quent Cordair was already linked above as a specific example of garbage being represented as art. Few things are funnier than earnest objectivist art spam.
posted by brownpau at 2:24 PM on March 6, 2006


Of course, maybe its just best to think of the whole Kinkade enterprise as "Found Performance Art".
posted by R. Mutt at 2:24 PM on March 6, 2006


Kinkade pictures aren't my taste. I also don't go to those all-you-can-eat buffet places or even the international pancake houses. But there are people who do. And it's their money.. the fact that the guy is in the business to make money, well, hell. Andy Warhol had people piss on copper plates, and he sold the results for millions. How is that any different?
posted by crunchland at 2:24 PM on March 6, 2006


At least Ha Wu Shen's got some boobs (NSFW) on that Cordair site. Kinkade would probably drop a cottage in her pubic area.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:27 PM on March 6, 2006


HAN Wu Shen. My apologies.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:27 PM on March 6, 2006


instead of garbage being represented as art
Here you go, Patty.

Todd Lokken
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:28 PM on March 6, 2006


Yowza! I'd drop a cottage in her pubic area!
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:29 PM on March 6, 2006


Kincaid's not for me, but heckfire people, why bitch about something you can't change? Ignoring the tripe is better than spewing bile over it.

He's worth millions of dollars. Does he deserve this? The market says so.
posted by illiad at 2:35 PM on March 6, 2006


My post seems to have been prophetic.
posted by trey at 2:35 PM on March 6, 2006


My point exactly. I would much rather have a work of art in my home that doesn't reek of dead fish and sour milk. Be it a beautiful woman or a beautiful skyscaper, I prefer surrounding myself with that which I value most. To each his own.
posted by Patty Lynn at 2:43 PM on March 6, 2006


His art sits on the same level as today's Randian romantic realists,

On some level, I totally understand the appeal of the works that appear in the link. However, I have terrible, terrible taste in art. At the same time, the art of the "Randian romantic realists" looks like something that would appear on the walls of a cult's headquarters. Or the walls of the place where all the people live in apparent perfect harmony and peace with each other with infinite access to whatever pleasures they desire, until one of them (almost invariably a sexy blond man between the ages of 20 and 30) discovers that the entire world in which they live is a ruse to keep them compliant and under control until the time at which they are dissected/recycled/killed/turned into food.
posted by deanc at 2:50 PM on March 6, 2006


I prefer surrounding myself with that which I value most.
That's why I get all my art here.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:52 PM on March 6, 2006


Now that's cool! Thanks for the link.
posted by Patty Lynn at 2:58 PM on March 6, 2006


For me he has always seemed the kind of artist that appeals to people who buy painted hand saws.

posted by spock at 3:05 PM on March 6, 2006


Kincaid's not for me, but heckfire people, why bitch about something you can't change? Ignoring the tripe is better than spewing bile over it.
He's worth millions of dollars. Does he deserve this? The market says so.
posted by illiad at 2:35 PM PST on March 6 [!]


There have been lots of artists who made lots of money from thier work, and the various gimcracks & gewgawgery their work inspired. Charles Schultz and Jim Davis of Garfield fame come to mind, but there are plenty of others who sucessfully built brands around their illustrations/cartoons/whatever. My gripe with Kinkade (besides his utter crapulence) is that he's also selling himself as a Christian Personality & Businessman. His Christianity appears to have convinced some of the scammed gallery owners that he was worthy of their trust, yet he clearly didn't behave in a way consistent with his stated beliefs. The people bringing the lawsuits have lost their livelyhoods; for them it's not a simple value judgment about the man's painting style. He's a hypocrite and a dishonest businessman and no, he doesn't deserve his millions.
posted by maryh at 3:09 PM on March 6, 2006


Oh my God. Please stop comparing Thonas Kinkade to awe-inpiring works of folk art.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:09 PM on March 6, 2006


My girlfriend is in the process of doing her art history master's thesis on kitsch, and Thomas Kinkade/Jeff Koons in particular. The difference between the two being that Kinkade "means it" genuinely and Koons probably "means it" ironically. She's currently considering what these revelations mean in the context of her thesis.

Anyhow, as part of her research, we went to one of his lecture/auctions. He told us tales of baking lots of extra cookies with his family on Christmas Eve and taking them to nearby retirement homes. He asked a young boy up on stage and drew a sketch for him, telling him "One day, you can show this to your grandchildren and tell them how you met Thomas Kinkade". The auction was punctuated by a prayer session led by the man himself. At the time, I remember thinking this guy seemed like such an icon of piety that there had to be more to the story.

His family was all present, and Kinkade's daughter signed my gf's Kinkade catalog with a picture of a unicorn.

IMHO, if he takes all this in stride and goes right on painting, he'll have truly set himself amongst the great masters. I mean, which great masters haven't been heavy drinkers/gropers?
posted by Durhey at 3:20 PM on March 6, 2006


Does Cordair still sell that picture of Leonard Peikoff doing a wee on Nathaniel Branden? I always thought that was kinda crass.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:21 PM on March 6, 2006


It's a proud tradition. If you're not a good artist, you play at being an outrageous personality, so that people will look at you and say:

"Look at how he confronts social convention! He must be a tortured soul! All great artists were tortured souls. He's a great artist!"

Meanwhile, you scream obscenities all the way to the bank, and you get to tell the people who buy your crappy art that you hate them, which they interpret as a, "Satiric commentary on the modern dissolution of the social contract."

You die raving and dissolute, after burning your studio to the ground in a drunken fit of pique. The gallery owner gets very very rich after your funeral, because as bad as your art is, now it's scarce!
posted by Crosius at 3:24 PM on March 6, 2006


Thomas Kincade: art for people who don't like art.

Nice landscapes, Kincade. My mum would love 'em. *Snork*.
posted by Decani at 4:41 PM on March 6, 2006


By the way, I misspelled "Kinkade" deliberately. I felt he deserved that much.
posted by Decani at 4:42 PM on March 6, 2006


Thomas Kinkade's work looks like it should be sold in a gas station somewhere along I-70, right next to the plasticene dragons and wooden cut-out snowmen.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:55 PM on March 6, 2006


Also, does anybody else find it amusing that his initials form the international graphics designer's symbol for "nothing here yet?"

I'm just waiting for his protege, Lorem Ipsum, to come along.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:59 PM on March 6, 2006


Isn't Renoir the painter of light? You'd think his estate could do something about this...

Kincaid is not just kitsch, it's something worse, something more incidious. It's art for people who want to escape into Candyland.
I can't help but think it's bad for them. Wasn't that the name of the protagonist in Bridges of Madison County? Talk about crap walking hand in hand.

As for ignoring tripe: Laughing in Kincaide is one of the joys of my daily commute. I don't let him bother me, but I do enjoy ridiculing the saps who buy his crap. Yes, there really is such a thing as objectively bad taste.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:04 PM on March 6, 2006


Many years ago when his art first came to national attention, I saw a few of his paintings hanging in an art gallery window on my daily walk. A tad cartoony, but I didn't actually loathe it with every fiber of my being. The problem is that there is no escaping the crap now-- every window of every shopping mall gallery and every craft shop and every gift catalog. It is being thrust under my nose so violently and so often there is no escape. Precious moments and cabbage patch dolls and rainbow crystal unicorns affect me the same way but they aren't hyped with such vigilance. I expect to see Thomas Kincaide clothes pretty soon and Thomas Kincaide cookies and Thomas Kincaide furniture and Thomas Kincaide movies and Thomas Kincaide burial caskets.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:22 PM on March 6, 2006


And Thomas Kinkade subdivisions.
posted by BoringPostcards at 5:49 PM on March 6, 2006


"Drunkenly heckling Siegfried & Roy is a problem?"

Yeah, I thought what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:17 PM on March 6, 2006


Oh, you will, Secret Life of Gravy, you will...

Unlike no self-labeled fine artist before him, Thomas Kinkade has taken to the public markets with zeal. The status of Media Arts Group allows a front seat view of the mass-produced lifestyle artist.

"The mission of Media Arts Group, Inc. is to create the preeminent visual content management company in the world and to change the way people look at art through the development of life-affirming, emotionally uplifting images, and message driven products, rooted in traditional family values. With our successful business model, Media Arts Group, Inc. is positioned to be the dominant force in art publishing, home decor, and gift products in the coming century." [5]

posted by maryh at 6:38 PM on March 6, 2006


And Thomas Kinkade subdivisions.

OK, now that is terribly, terribly frightening. I think I'm going to be sick.
posted by loquacious at 6:49 PM on March 6, 2006


""The mission of Media Arts Group, Inc. is to create the preeminent visual content management company in the world and to change the way people look at art through the development of life-affirming, emotionally uplifting images, and message driven products, rooted in traditional family values. With our successful business model, Media Arts Group, Inc. is positioned to be the dominant force in art publishing, home decor, and gift products in the coming century."

Fuck off.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:16 PM on March 6, 2006


Someone needs to provide artwork to hang on the walls of all the rooms in all the Holiday Inns across this great land of ours.
posted by crunchland at 7:21 PM on March 6, 2006


Paris, every now and then you post something on MeFi which makes me think there's a thoughtful being in that otherwise confused world called your thoughts. Your 2 word opinion regarding that mission statement is just perfect. Thnx.
posted by dbiedny at 7:24 PM on March 6, 2006


It's art for people who want to escape into Candyland.

I though Kenny Scharf had the corner on that market?
posted by HTuttle at 7:26 PM on March 6, 2006


Also, does anybody else find it amusing that his initials form the international graphics designer's symbol for "nothing here yet?"

Funny that.

An aside: I always assumed that TK began as T/C with the slash cutting across most of the image space and T-C being short for ToCome.
Years of being done more and more casually led the slash to be shorter and looking more like TK.
Now most write TK.

Old timers I've seen wrote T/C
Could be convinced otherwise though
posted by HTuttle at 7:34 PM on March 6, 2006


i love hipsters and their self-congratulatory loathing of what the masses like ... just remember that the majority of the contemporaries you hold dear will probably be forgotten in 100 years

kinkade will be remembered ... not respected, but remembered
posted by pyramid termite at 8:45 PM on March 6, 2006


No Thomas Kinkade thread should exist without a link to the transcript of his 60 Minutes segment.
posted by cribcage at 9:36 PM on March 6, 2006


How does Kinkade regard Picasso? "I don't believe, in time, that he will be regarded as the titan that he is now," says Kinkade. "He is a man of great talent who, to me, used it to create three Picassos before breakfast because he could get $10,000 each for them."

oh, geez ... i take it back ... he IS loathsome
posted by pyramid termite at 10:33 PM on March 6, 2006


just remember that the majority of the contemporaries you hold dear will probably be forgotten in 100 years

Why should my sense of esthetic judgement be in the slightest degree influenced by what the masses like, and what may or may not be remembered in 100 years? The masses and their collective memory can go to hell.
posted by slatternus at 10:53 PM on March 6, 2006


spock: I have multiple relatives with painted saws on their walls, on both sides of the family.

Also, painted milk jars and driftwood.

Don't remember any Kinkades, though. The Kinkade outlet around here is in one of the richest neighborhoods in the country, a bleak land of parking lots and franchises.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:48 AM on March 7, 2006


Patty Lynn said 'To each his own.'

No. There is good art, and there is bad art. If you value Kinkade, or the horrors you linked to, genuinely, rather than as kitsch, I honestly believe that you are not wholly human.
posted by jack_mo at 5:33 AM on March 7, 2006


Why should my sense of esthetic judgement be in the slightest degree influenced by what the masses like, and what may or may not be remembered in 100 years?

it's not esthetic judgement i'm concerned about ... it's the sense of personal superiority that some have expressed
posted by pyramid termite at 6:34 AM on March 7, 2006


No, what matters is having to run into his sheis involuntarily, in too many places. And what it indicates and portends for American society: that many people's judgment is so perverted, so vapid that this product is popular.

I can't help but think of TK sheis in the same breath as Scientology, the Mormons, and other bizarre, scary cults.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:57 AM on March 7, 2006


Don't remember any Kinkades, though. The Kinkade outlet around here is in one of the richest neighborhoods in the country, a bleak land of parking lots and franchises.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:48 AM EST on March 7

On the other hand, my husband's high school drop-out, children of share croppers, fundamental Baptist, trailer park-living family looooooves them some Kincaide. Mother-in-Law's perfect Christmas present is a resin-cast lighthouse light and water fountain "inspired" by T K.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:42 AM on March 7, 2006


spock writes "For me he has always seemed the kind of artist that appeals to people who buy painted hand saws."

I love these people. Take a nice old working tool, paint it up nice and hang it on a wall protected from the elements. Thereby preserving the tool for the next generation who can buy it for 50 cents at a yard sale, sharpen it and be good to go.
posted by Mitheral at 7:52 AM on March 7, 2006


No. There is good art, and there is bad art. If you value Kinkade, or the horrors you linked to, genuinely, rather than as kitsch, I honestly believe that you are not wholly human.

While I think this is an overstatement, I agree with the general sentiment. You can't simply argue that Kinkade is generally equal to all other artists, who are all generally equal to everybody ele, and art is all just a matter of taste.

Kinkade is legitimate incompetent at fundamental elements of art. As I mentioned earlier, he can't draw perspective. For someone obsessed with light, he doesn't seem to understand the sourcing of light in a painting -- things just glow, and glow with an inhuman intensity that doesn't suggest godliness, but radioactivity. His cottages are architectual monstrosities. Because he is not a plein air painter, his rural scenes no longer resemble actual rural scenes, as he just seems to be inventing trees and creeks and brambles, without any sense of what trees and creeks and brambles might actually exist in any real place.

And I know he's not trying to represent reality, but what he is creating is so divorced from reality as to suggest that he thinks that the real world is disgusting. He doesn't simply seem to be trying to improve nature in his painting, he's completely reinvented it, like a man who has only heard nature described and is trying to reproduce those descriptions in a darkened room.

Objectively, his art is mediocre. It lacks skill and craft. That's no more a matter of tatse than it would be if I compared, say, one of those dismal poems goths put on their Web pages to the work of William Blake. Blake is objectively better. Poeple who can't realize this have no part discussing art.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:43 AM on March 7, 2006


I am with the (pretty predictable) consensus here on TK's gawd-awful art. But what freaks me out the most about his paintings is this: The way he paints cottages and houses to look as if there is warm, homey, welcoming hearth light inside of them makes it look instead as if a raging bonfire is devouring the building!

Every time I see a TK painting (which, granted, is not often as I live in a major city--in a Blue state) I am struck by a twinge of peril--expecting the little cottage windows to come crashing out, obliterating everything in a massive fireball. The "Call 911!" effect of TK's glowing dwellings reminds me of that little 1950's "Christmas town" decoration my grandparents had under their tree. (Remember that town of houses that skirted the mirror "lake" on fluffy fabric "snow"?) A string of little tin houses, each with a 15watt bulb inside and hot enough to burn little fingers. ...Good times!
posted by applemeat at 9:35 AM on March 7, 2006


Oh, if you look, I'm sure you'll be able to find some Kinkade within driving distance, applemeat. He's ubiquitous.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:55 AM on March 7, 2006


Astro Zombie, that reminds my of the Palisades Mall, the hellish megamall in Rockland County, ~30 mins north of NYC. My county of youth has likely been TK'd more than I want to admit.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:13 PM on March 7, 2006


Yikes Astro Zombie, you're right. (...Ahhh, all the makings for a dream date: A stroll through the TK Gallery, a Hugh Grant movie, and then dinner at Chi-Chi's!)

And I know he's not trying to represent reality, but what he is creating is so divorced from reality as to suggest that he thinks that the real world is disgusting.

I've suspected this too while looking at TK's fantastic (dictionary sense) grotesques--the bulbous Smurf-village cottages, the explosions of light, the epidemic of wildflowers choking every square inch of foreground, etc.--although I could not articulate it as well as you just did.
posted by applemeat at 12:34 PM on March 7, 2006


I'd like to see some TK represented on ytmnd.com. It could be funny, and piss off the right people.

BrownPau, can you help me?
posted by ParisParamus at 12:40 PM on March 7, 2006


kinkade will be remembered ... not respected, but remembered

Sorta like Hitler, then.

OMFG GODWIN OHNO!
posted by Decani at 6:32 PM on March 9, 2006


An update to the LA Times article.
posted by malocchio at 9:57 AM on March 10, 2006


Apology accepted, Tom. Now you get right back on course with makin' your visual content management company the most preemminent in the world, y'hear?
posted by maryh at 9:02 PM on March 10, 2006


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