By John Douglas : As you can imagine quite a cacophony of earnest opinion, sour grapes score settling and dark humor has been generated by the demise of Mr. Thomas Kinkade . Inevitably such a controversial “Art’s Character ” dying so young will bring back memories and draw parallels with Andy Warhol’s premature departure. We have our own opinions here at Kings Galleries and we share them with you at the bottom of this compilation of what we consider the best of the net…
The popular artist’s April death saddened many, now the cause has been revealed
it worked on me, though I hate to say it. Thomas Kinkade wasn’t dead but a day before I started viewing his work differently. What I once pooh-poohed as soulless dreck soon became soulless dreck with a certain cozy charm. When a living person makes crappy art it is just crappy art; when the artist dies, that crappy art becomes elevated to kitsch, and kitsch lures me like a siren’s song every time. And since you can’t libel the dead, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it looks like the guy drank himself to death, which also raises the value of his paintings for me. One thing I will not do, however, is argue whether or not his work was “art,” because it most certainly was. It stirred things in the viewers’ hearts — or stomachs.
For years, I have wanted to write about Thomas Kinkade, his art, celebrity and spirituality compared to Pop Art icon Andy Warhol, who also was a celebrated character in the world of fame, but also a very devout Catholic and was able to meet Pope John Paul II twice, not as a famous artist in a private meeting, but like so many other followers, in a line of greeting pilgrims in St. Peter Square. My assumption when Kinkade was alive, and Warhol still alive to see Kinkade’s success: could they have been friends and made some appearances : Read More.
Article by Todd Elliott:
Thomas Kinkade, the “Painter of Light” whose collectible works were beloved by fans and bemoaned by critics, died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription tranquilizers, officials confirmed to the Associated Press. A combination of Valium and alcohol was the cause of the painter’s April 6 death, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office said Tuesday.
In this Sept. 15, 2006, photo, Thomas Kinkade unveils his painting, “Prayer For Peace,” at the opening of the exhibit “From Abraham to Jesus,” in Atlanta : Read More
The Daily Beasts, Blake Gopnik, nails it !
Kings Galleries Opinion By David Billet :
The Death Of Thomas Kinkade And Why History Will Remember Him.
In an article I produced for the Kings Galleries website last year ( Click Here) I described my attitude toward the paintings of Thomas Kinkade and my fellow artists indifference and sometimes down-right hostility toward his work.
I did say in that article that i thought the Thomas Kinkade was a very skilled technically trained artist and he should be given credit for that fact, however I criticized severely his subject matter and his commercial promotions department for pandering to a generation of adults brought up on television and over the top patriotism and religious interpretations somewhat distorted by the grab all you can culture of the late twentieth century. I also warned collectors of Kinkade’s “prints” that they would only ever get the money back in the Thomas Kinkade revival that would no-doubt happen about one hundred years after his death, well looks like you guys got an early start.
What I didn’t say at the time, because I was afraid my fellow studio companions would have all risen up, thrown a rope over one of the roof trusses and hung me, was, why I think Thomas Kinkade was an important American artist of historical importance, here’s the reason why
Artists are not only producers of attractive wall hangings and sculpture, what they produce should make a statement about the times in which they, the artist live, historically important artists leave a clear impression of their times, an impression that future viewers can step into and understand those times, no other artist I can think of says more about the first decade of the Twenty First Century in America than Thomas Kinkade
Kinkade’s America was and is still hurting, nostalgia, as they say, is making a big come back, Middle America longs for the past, when life was less complicated, Gas was Fifty Three Cents a Gallon, you could leave your door unlocked at night and people you didn’t like knew their places, if not you were not afraid to tell them where it was ! Its a White, mainly bucolic World, pastoral and pastel shaded with an old White President with grey hair and a suit that didn’t quite fit him properly, just like theirs. An America where Mom and Pop could retire to a county cottage on Pops small but adequate pension and the kids would call around every weekend until it was time for “The Old Folks” to take Jesus by the hand and lead them to his celestial home, just beyond the sky.
Of course none of this really existed, that’s not to say that some of it isn’t attractive, it is, but it does exist for Thomas Kinkade fans, fleetingly, briefly, whilst they stare into a Thomas Kinkade print on their wall. This is why Thomas Kinkade is so popular and that is why he will become a historically important artistic figure in the future, because he envisioned and pictorially illustrated the last remnants of the Old Nineteen Fifties “American Dream”. Thomas Kinkade bore artistic witness to the final writhings of a snake sloughing off its “Don’t Stand On Me” skin. Thomas Kinkade however unlike Hogarth and Goya who did it with piercing shock and vulgarity, Thomas Kinkade embraced and profited by it, in bilious luminous pastels. Ahhh, whats that Bobby Dylan said? Oh yes! ‘The times they are a changing “