Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Fine Art Tuesday

Thomas Kinkade born 1958 in Sacramento County, California. Died 2012.

Panned by critics (likely motivated by envy of his commercial success) as "pop art" and "kitch" and "crassly commercial". 

Kinkade produced and sold a prodigiously large number of paintings.

His paintings evoke a sense of coziness and welcoming, a perpetual sense of homecoming.

His admirers overlooked the sometimes improbable treatment of water, luminous fog, and (sometimes) insanely busy cottage gardens.

They adore his windows glowing with fires and candles well-lit, gardens lovingly tended and homes meticulously cared for.

Perhaps this is not the reality most of us go home to every day after work, but it is the what we wish it to be. Kinkade's paintings offer a bit of respite from hour-long commutes, expansive and sterile lawns and Home Owner Associations' anal-retentive love of bland earth-tones and vinyl siding.

Who am I to judge. These paintings make some people happy and give them peace.


  1. His art is part reality and part fantasy. Thats why people like it. When I lived in the Catskill Mt in NY more then once while walking home after a hunt with the sun down and the sky darkening my little white farm house would be all a glow and the light through the windows would all so warm and inviting. Very much like some of his paintings.

  2. Several times I have walked into a Kinkaid-esque wonderland. A long walk on a cold night, or low clouds scudding across the sky after a drenching rain, creating a cavern pressing down, the glow of a light through frost paned windows warms the soul. That feeling that soon I'll be warm and toasty is sublime.

    I think his critics were also attacking his faith. His paintings, such as they are, have only risen in value. I had heard that others in his employ did the majority of the art work. That he would come to put on the final touches, like the light in a window. Whether that is true, it remains that his art touched many people deeply. I had thought of his work as part Hudson Valley, part N. Rockwell with his own finesse and flair. At the last is always the rhetorical; what is art?

  3. Ugh Dreck for cheap calendars.

    He was going to add his blood to his paint as a signature. A narcissistic con man.

    1. While it is not art that turns my crank, I have to ask: Is it a con if the purchaser firmly believes that they received value for their money?

  4. http://eatonrapidsjoe.blogspot.com/2021/08/fine-art-tuesday.html#comment-form

    Part of the problem. He was bilking the saps into thinking they were buying value and an investment instead of cheap sentiment.

    Sentiment has been described as akin to pornography, hence, the Hollywood formula of sex, violence, and sentiment. Kinkade just commercialized that lowest common denominator in another way but art it is not.

    At the other extreme, the radio had someone talking about Andy Warhol as the greatest artist of the 20th century. Oh really, l thought, they never asked me.

    Also, note the Parrish. Kinkade was just one in a long line of greeting card hawkers. However, note the greater degree of skill in this vs Kinkade. Even cheap sentiment can be appealing if it is well done. One of my main complaints is Kinkade's rubbish is so cartoonish. There is so much art out there that there is no reason not to look. Kinkade is for those that are not interested in art but want to pretend and confuse sentiment with value.

    The term art has been corrupted at all levels as well. The intent was that it reflected and illuminated the human condition. Craft was to denote items made with great skill like a custom handmade shotgun. Now craft means junk and art means craft or, in Kinkade's case, a marketing con. 20 years ago, l saw his prints being pushed in a Kinkade dedicated mall outlet in the Boston burbs. Art doesn't get marketed in a dollar store.

    The best description of art l have seen was that it is emotional history. Emotion being what it is there is a lot of range in that but that means some of it is crap.


    More on him above. Also, a good site for learning art knowledge.


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