The Latest from Thomas Kinkade, the Painter of Light (TM)

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Julian Black

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Thomas Kinkade should have his ass cracked with a wet towel full of gelignite.[...]
[dies laughing]

Kinkade styles himself "The Painter of Light." "The Painter of Shite" is more like it.

You know, religion used to inspire real art---Milton, Blake, Donne.
Not to mention Michaelangelo, Fra Angelico, Giotto, Raphael, Titian....I could go on. Sit through a couple of semesters of art history, and it's obvious that much of the greatest art ever created was, if not explicitly religious, at least inspired by religious ideals.

Kinkade is the visual equivalent of televangelism. Especially those "prosperity preachers" who claim Jesus wants you--yes, you!--to be rich. (And you will be, after you've sent in your "seed money" and prayed really, really hard...)
 

Lantern Jack

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With much respect, while certainly Kinkaide's work is commercial, there's no denying its quality. And while you may find it nauseating, there's no denying that it is real art. Heavily marketed and well-sold art, but still.

:) Art---true art, that is---consists of originality, depth and idiosyncrasy. Kinkade's work has none of these. A picture of a cottage, a cobbled bridge in a sunny, little thorpe. This is the type of bland stuff a moderately-talented, completely unimaginative art student paints in some community college. It's mediocre to the nth degree.

Here's a list of some true artists:

Salvador Dali
Frida Kahlo
Heironymus Bosch
William Blake

These folk are wildly original. The stuff that comes out of their heads is like some warped fun house of psychadelic phantasmagoria. Thomas Kinkade's stuff, on the other hand, recalls the Wallace Steven poem about the dull people who dream of rings of blue, yellow and green, whereas the above folk dream of naught but tigers in red weather.

True artists have the guts to fly in the face of convention, to be truly themselves, their nightmares and their dark poetries together. Kinkade has none of that. I know it in my brains, I know it in my bones, I know it in my balls.

I just...know it.

Plus, real art is, by its nature, anti-commercial, something you could never say of Kinkade. And I think the ultimate proof of the non-aesthetic nature of his work is that it appeals mainly to uncultured rubes. Every puritanical, Elvis-loving dullard I've ever had the misfortune of being force-friended, their houses were all wall-to-wall Kinkade---wallpaper, drapes, comforters.

It's not art. It's not even kitsch. It's blah. It's beige. It's tepid dishwater. I don't know. I just pride myself on having a little kernel of knowing inside me that burns hot when I hit upon something that isn't artful. And it's positively scalding me right now:)
 

poetinahat

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The Commatose Kidd

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tk's paintings are art, just very unremarkable art- very unimportant to art history. the aforementioned 'original' artists [dali etc.] were important to art history. they were myth makers- tk is a myth perpetuator... more a craftsman than an artist. artists do experiments, craftsmen repeat what they know. but consumate craftsmen are called 'artist'- anyone who does something very well is called an artist of their craft [dclary's 'quality'?].

t.k. is a sappy leroy neiman- a complete sellout.
what cracks me up is when someone says they bought a tk painting as an investment.
the guy now has subs make his paintings. he makes a couple highlight strokes and signs his name- he markets hundreds a year... pretty hard to have them go up in value when you flood the market like that. not that they would go up much in value anyway, the only artists whos works really go up in value are 'ground breakers'- for they affect art history.
but people like his sappy snow covered cabins with the smoke coming out the fireplace flue.... they can envision the inside of the cabin with a puppy dog curled up in front of the fire, and steaming hot toddy's to keep the occupants all warm and fuzzy- emotional tripe... makes me want to gag.
 

Lantern Jack

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Bingo!

I was referencing 'Disillusionment at 10 O'clock,' one of my favorite WS poems, a fantastic example of his hugely symbolic poetry, not to mention the deadening convention of the bourgeois, versus the wild imaginings of those living on the raw and naked edge.

As a sub-tangent on this thread, who are the Thomas Kinkades in other artistic mediums?
 

dclary

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Bingo!

I was referencing 'Disillusionment at 10 O'clock,' one of my favorite WS poems, a fantastic example of his hugely symbolic poetry, not to mention the deadening convention of the bourgeois, versus the wild imaginings of those living on the raw and naked edge.

As a sub-tangent on this thread, who are the Thomas Kinkades in other artistic mediums?

Ravel was clearly the Kinkaide of his generation.
 

Lantern Jack

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Which would explain why many of the greatest pieces of art in existence today were commissioned works?

And five times as many were plucked out of the feverish brains of mad geniuses, who didn't manage to sell more than a few panels until many years after their untimely deaths, whereupon they reaped a wicked dividend. I guess the true irony of art, that deepest of dreams, is that it only becomes profitable long after the dreamer is dead. Then again, a work commissioned for a single individual, where the artist is allowed to go nuts, is wholly different than assembly-line art designed for mass consumption.

I think the problem here is in the definition of commercial. Commerical, as I originally intended it, is that which can be marketed for the general public. Since great art is violently radical in its technical aspects, it pretty much drives away the rubes, appealing only to the high-brow muckety-mucks and the enlightened.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away