Not to mention cell phones with which sinners can call a friend for a ride. Really, no one has a right to endanger innocent people no matter how dark their mood. Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light, was picked up on a D.U.I.
While public intoxication and arrest would tend to enhance the reputation of your average tortured artist, it will do some damage to the Kinkade brand. His product is serenity and assured salvation.
Why am I snarking at this guy when he’s down? When he’s falling apart financially? It’s not personal, it’s not even his frightening art. I’m snarking because of people like this…
You should consider owning at least ONE EPIC (largest size) Kinkade in your home. (I have 11 EPICS up on the walls in my home in my collection!) The sheer breathtaking beauty of the EPIC is absolutely mesmerizing! The EPIC size shows the beauty of the Kinkade more than any smaller version and will be the focal point of your home.
Only selected Kinkades are made in Epic size (actually only a small fraction of Thomas Kinkade’s art are selected). Many Kinkades are not made beyond the 24 x 36 size or some even beyond 20 x 24. I am offering only the top best sellers in the EPIC size.
The Kinkade EPIC size will appreciate in value like all fine art and will become a family heirloom and a wise investment.
It’s because of cynical marketing schemes like this…
It just takes a few dabs of paint, and presto, each canvas – worth $1,000 to $50,000 – is framed. The operation is huge. More than 400 employees work in the vast garret, where forklifts, power tools and assembly lines push the artist’s vision out the door to more than 350 Kinkade galleries in the United States and overseas. More than 600 others are being planned.
“Tom paints every single painting that we produce,” says [C.E.O., Craig] Fleming. “It’s still an original Kinkade as far as we’re concerned.”
…Kinkade has struck a serious nerve and a vein of pure gold in America’s heartland. And he is relentless in exploiting himself, his family and of course, God.
“My wife and I do pray over these paintings. Thank you,” says Kinkade. “And we do believe that God can speak through beauty.”
Well, his colors are pretty, no one can deny that. But I saw the 60 Minutes interview quoted above, and what got to me was the innocent-looking fans standing in line to pay huge bucks for a mass-produced printed canvass magically transformed by Kinkade, who was posing and dabbing tiny blobs of paint onto each one. Whether, as he claims, this makes each copy ‘original’ is a question for philosophers. Here’s critic Christina Waters…
“He really is an accomplished painter,” [business partner, Ken] Raasch asserts. “He can out-Monet Monet, but he’s chosen to make paintings that people can relate to.” Raasch credits the ubiquitous Painter of Light™ trademark with producing crucial brand-name recognition and launching Kinkade into art publishing big time.
“The ‘light’ concept allowed us to develop consistency,” Raasch explains. “There’s always light in his work–yet that idea is broad enough that he would be free to do everything.”
The concept is working. Four years ago Kinkade stopped selling his originals, citing as the primary reason the desire to keep his collection intact for posterity. Focusing entirely on sales
of state-of-the-art lithographic copies (available in multitiered editions priced from $300 to $15,000) allows MAGI to offer an endless stream of product.
Anyone who pays that much for a print with a few dabs on it better want it real bad. If they bought it as an investment they’re out of luck. The Kinkade brand depends highly on a myth of personality that just lost a hunk of social capital and a pyramid kind of system where the value depends on creating demand through aggressive marketing. It may be that hard times as much as hubris is dimming the Kinkade light. People just don’t have a few thousand bucks lying around any more.
And just a word about the real starving artists– I mean the people selling true original work here in the Creative Capitol. There used to be a Kinkade store in the Providence Place Mall, sucking money away from real local artists whose work might actually be worth something in time. Arrrgh…
Anyway, there is a way out for Kinkade. Just as Picasso had his Blue Period and Plaid Period and whatever, (Picasso being almost as cynical as Andy Warhol in marketing), Kinkade might have his Light Period, full of deep despair under a smiling surface. This is a review from KNS Mare, who sees something ominous in the glowing windows and smoking chimneys of the depopulated Kinkade-world…
For Kinkade, the ultimate context for modern evil is the seemingly static, wholly-controlled, wholly-contrived resort environment that attempts to evoke a pre-lapsarian perfection yet with all the amenities: a bed and breakfast Eden where NO OTHER PEOPLE can interfere with one’s vacation. Kinkade traps us within our own vanity and illusions, and then begins burning down the quaint little houses. The Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards would have sinners clenched fast in the hands of an angry god. Kinkade would have them locked inside thatched roof stone cottages, begging pyromaniac realtors and resort managers for mercy that never comes.
Maybe this points to a way out for Kinkade. He sold himself as much as he sold paintings. The paintings are what they’re worth, and will eventually be judged as good or bad art on their own merit. Maybe he should consider using his technical skills to carve out a new path. Like ironic renderings of acres of unsold mini-mansions. Thomas Kinkade–Painter of Blight.
If Kinkade is a painter he will paint, and maybe when he’s free from the need to move product, he’ll surprise us. He does have a nice way with color.
EVERYONE’S A CRITIC: Harsh words at Salon.com. Kerry Lauerman quotes a cheated franchise owner as saying Kinkade used a ‘Christian hook’ to sell his paintings.
THE LIFE KINKADE: Here’s a link to Salon’s article about a suburban housing development that bears the Kinkade brand. Sadly, the little stone cottages with the glowing windows were too expensive to build, and the houses are nothing out of the ordinary, but maybe you get a break on sofa art. This kind of over-reach is one reason people go bankrupt.
FROM BACK HOME: The OC Register Arts Blog has local take and comments. I like the one that says Kinkade has helpers putting the little dabs of paint on the prints so that each one is ‘original’.