Skip to comments.Thomas Kinkade’s Cottage Fantasy
Posted on 06/16/2010 4:14:36 AM PDT by Loyalist
The painter of light has entered a dark period. Thomas Kinkade, the self-proclaimed (and trademarked) Painter of Light, is beset with legal troubles. Several years ago, art gallery owners successfully sued his Kinkades Media Arts Group for millions after it was revealed that he and company officials used invoked God and their higher calling to hide the financial risks of the investments.
The settlement put such a strain on his company that earlier this month, he filed for bankruptcy protection from his hundreds of other creditors. Adding to his woes, the artist was arrested on a DUI charge outside his home in Carmel, California.
What sets this news apart from similarly tragic human interest stories is that Kinkade is one of the most financially successful artists in the world. As his website proclaims, Kinkade is Americas most collected living artist. He has sold over ten million works and his art or licensed product (which includes wallpaper, tableware, stationary, and La-Z-Boy chairs and sofas) is estimated to be in one in ten homes in the United States. He has even inspired a novel (Cape Light), a TV-movie (Home for Christmas), and planned communities (The Gates of Coeur dAlene in Coeur dAlene, Idaho, and The Village at Hiddenbrooke outside of San Francisco, and others).
His admirers are legion, especially among evangelical Christians. As an evangelical, I was aware that he was popular but had no idea how much religious devotion he inspired until I expressed my disapproval of the artists oeuvre.
No doubt many people who would praise a rich, popular, establishment-approved hack like Andy Warhol despise Kinkade for being a rich, popular, evangelical-approved hack. But I think a solid case against Kinkade can be made on purely aesthetic criteria, especially when you compare his work to a superior artist.
(Excerpt) Read more at firstthings.com ...
This article critiques Kinkade for having done just that, to devastating effect.
I’m looking forward to his “View from the Prison Cell” series.
Thomas Kinkade arrested for drunk driving
Kinkade’s works are giclées..............the process of making prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. Painters then dab on brushstrokes to fashion the illusion of an actual painting.
Sac/Bee reported Kinkade’s company owes 1,000-5,000 creditors a total of $10-50 million, according to bankruptcy documents. A list of creditors more than 100 pages long was appended to the bankruptcy filing. It included a cardboard-box company in Sacramento, the state Board of Equalization and small art galleries in Folsom, Auburn and Elk Grove.
At the top of the list were Karen Hazelwood and Jeff Spinello, Virginia gallery owners to whom Kinkade’s company said it owed almost $2.4 million. The debt stemmed from a fraud claim the couple won in arbitration in 2006. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the award last June.
CBS’ 60 Minutes segment said Kinkade sells more than art. There is a whole array of Kinkade-branded items on the market. “Thomas Kinkade is a multi-dimensional lifestyle brand, similar to Martha Stewart or Ralph Lauren,” says Kinkade. “You can put a Thomas Kinkade couch beneath your Thomas Kinkade painting. Next to the Thomas Kinkade couch goes the Thomas Kinkade end table. On top of that goes your collection of Thomas Kinkade books, Thomas Kinkade collectibles, Thomas Kinkade throw rugs. You can snuggle your Thomas Kinkade teddy bear.”
And, he adds, “You can put all of that inside your new Thomas Kinkade home in the Thomas Kinkade subdivision.” More than 100 homes, all modeled on his cutesy, cozy cottages, have been built in Vallejo, Calif., outside San Francisco.
Jesse Barnes was the original light painter. Kincaid’s style is almost identical and for whatever reason he to surpass JB. I never purchased any of his art because he seemed to be a knock off of JB.
It’s sad though that he is in this predicament.
You are likely correct in Kinkade’s inspiration. Jesse Barnes seems to have been developing this *light* technique years before Kinkade was born.
I guess I’m not much of an art critic. In the article, he compares two paintings, praising the first one while exchoriating the second. They were both done by Kinkaide. I happen to like the second one and not the first. What do I know, not much....
I like his paintings and am sad to see that he is in the trouble he’s in. When you reach the heights, the fall is long and hard...
I saw you post this exact post the other day. Do you have a source?
Actually John Plummer Ludlum was the original light painter. He created the luminescent school.
Is he a contemporary? Haven’t heard of him.
Read it again-—I posted the sources.
It’s amazing how very successful can figure out how to screw up the whole thing.
Kind of the reverse of a radio commercial I hear all the time:
“If I had the talent to earn millions of dollars, I realized I could also use that same talent to get millions of dollars in debt! I’m Steve Stump. Send for my free report, “Getting Heavily into Debt!” You’ve got nothing to lose but all that money.”
You can buy copies of his work to complete with numbered color pencils from the Mary Maxim catalogue.
Right next to the wall hangings you can glue sequins onto.
What? No Elvis on velvet do-it-yourself kits?
Geertgen tot Sint Jans (about 1490)
(nothing new under the sun)
I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I actually like Kincaid’s work. I’ve got several framed works of his in my home.
It’s too bad he’s taken the path he’s on. What a shame.
Elvis is not so popular anymore. But you can still get wild animals and adorable kittens and puppies on velvet.
You can also find Christmas tree ornaments made from plastic beads and safety pins. (Not recommended for children under the age of 10).
What I find interesting in paintings of this time period (and others) is the use of adult body proportions for infants and young children.
They appear as miniature adults with the head approximately 1/7th the size of the entire body instead of the more normal 1/4th head size for newborns.
Baby Jesus looks like he could stand right up and run around.
Not saying this to criticize these works of arts, just an interesting observation.
ADOLPHE BOUGUEREAU (1888)
A child, yet not
Now, in that picture the child has correct proportions. It was also painted over 200 years later than the first one?
Believe me, I know very little about art, but it just strikes me when the body proportions don’t make sense.
And I love that last picture!
I suppose I qualify as an evangelical Christian, and I’ve always thought Kinkade was a maudlin hack painting fancy cartoons for people entirely too fascinated with Snow White And The Seven Dwarves.
Interesting article. I have never appreciated his art and have been amazed that he has been so popular. There is too much “sameness” about every painting. What I still don’t understand is how he could be in so much debt while being so successful. The article didn’t really explain why he owes so much money.
compared to the life problems of the Great Masters, this guy is a piker!
Cthulu looks positively radiant. Have you seen the line of “Hello Cthulu” childrenswear and accessories?
I do like, and have these two paintings by, Terry Redlin:
"God Shed His Grace on Thee":
I’ve seen cross-stitch kits with a printed background. I’d be surprised if there aren’t paint-by-the-numbers kits too.
Cthulu on kids clothes? Surely you jest? If not, what age group do you mean, and what kind of accessories are available??
I believe he had a large judgement or two against him for fraud. I’m not sure of the details, and I may be wrong.
As for being bankrupt, well, lots of big lottery winners and professional athletes who earn millions end up that way, too, and don’t even have to lose lawsuits to do it.
Now, that is some Kinkade art I can appreciate!
When lottery winners & professional athletes lose their millions it is usually due to living super extravagant lifestyles. Meanwhile, they are not producing anything. Kinkade has been a prolific producer and merchandiser of his art. I know nothing about the man other than his ubiquitous art and his claim to be a Christian. Maybe he too has led an extravagant lifestyle like so many professional athletes & lottery winners, but I am still mystified how one could sell so much and still be in debt - even with lawsuits against him.
I agree. We here on FR like to pride ourselves on being individual thinkers yet when someone posts a hit piece on someone we seem to dutifully follow whatever the writer suggests. If someone posted a newsflash that Reagan killed a puppy, everyone would say well thats it, Reagan is now at the top of my s—t list. I like Kinkaids works, too. My daughter has 2 of his paintings in her living room and they are beautiful and tasteful. 99.99% of artists are not going to be another Picasso or even do much more than break even on their work. Kinkaid found a way to make a lot of money on probably mediocre paintings. If there is some type of Kinkaid work in 1 in 10 households, he has managed to brilliantly market his product and I say good for him. I have a Kinkaid lamp and a Kinkaid checkbook cover and he made money when I bought them. He may not be another Picasso but he is a good businessman and if people want his product than it must be a pretty good product. I just wonder how much the current hatred toward all things Christain has to do with his current troubles.
LOL - Yes he does and no I haven’t. ;o)
Love those paintings! Are they by any chance from the now defunct line of Home Interiors? I loved Home Interiors! I just hate it that Mary Crowleys children managed to ruin her company after her death.
Kids' tees, pajamas, plush toys, infant crawlers and bibs on the "Hello Cthulu!" theme that I've seen thus far. Several different sites, just do a web search.
Those a very nice paintings. Especially the Evening Solitude. That one sort of reminds me of some of the paintings put on the Winchestor Calendars years ago...
Looks like he's in the hole to the tune of millions and has legal troubles for debt and fraud.
Sac/Bee reported Kinkade's company owes 1,000-5,000 creditors a total of $10-50 million, according to bankruptcy documents. A list of creditors more than 100 pages long was appended to the bankruptcy filing.
His company sold art gallery franchises that promised millions in sales.....he then sold his artworks in other venues at much cheaper prices....the gallery owners felt deceived, and filed suit.
Regulator - you're either an artist or a writer - that comment is waaaay to good for an ordinary hack.
Try reading some truly sick bash-Rush Limbaugh comments that are popping up on multitudinous threads.
LOL - Too cool!
Freepers, here’s what you need to know about the artworld:
The elitists consider Andy Warhol a genius, while Norman Rockwell is considered “campy” and or “maudlin”....
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.