Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I love how accurately Douglas Wilson describes Thomas Kinkade paintings: "where all the puddles on the ground have their eerie radioactive glow, and all the bungalows look like the living room has just caught on fire."

There is an enlightening article in the LA times on this self-proclaimed painter of light.

"Last month, however, a three-member panel of the American Arbitration Assn. ordered his company to pay $860,000 for defrauding the former owners of two failed Virginia galleries.

...In sworn testimony and interviews, they recount incidents in which an allegedly drunken Kinkade heckled illusionists Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas, cursed a former employee's wife who came to his aid when he fell off a barstool..."

How could someone who who makes so much money on so much kitch in the name of God, not be immoral?


Blogger Stacy Ann said...

I love that first quote!! I've never liked Kinkade but have never been able to put my finger exactly on why.
Thanks for your interesting posts!! I hope you have a great spring break and I'll see you soon.

3/07/2006 7:24 PM  
Blogger noneuclidean said...

Well, he could have just been misguided! But I guess that's not the case. I wrote something about him before, how he tries to capture a vision of heaven (a very worldly one at that) without acknowledging the sorrow and suffering on earth. Anyway, thanks for pointing this out.

3/07/2006 9:03 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I suppose I'm a bit hesitant to jump on the Hate Kinkade Mobile just yet.

#1 - He DOES have talent.

As you are aware, I lived in Moscow and personally heard Wilson rail on Kinkade but I never really agreed with him. I agree with him in saying Kinkade is something of a Christian fad. However, there's the alternative argument of Christians combatting the culture with original work. Kinkade's work IS original.

It's also not my preference, btw. I like his lighthouse shots and his "rainy day" depictions. They are curiously pretty. I much prefer his "bold" colors to his typical "pastel" work. And I've heard the argument that he captures the vision of heaven without acknowledging sorrow and suffering on earth. But is that a reason to just blast his work? I can't think so.

Take, for example, one of your pictures of a tree. It's really pretty, right? Brilliant colors and what not. Maybe not every picture you take shows the sin on earth but is that BAD? Or do we just get to escape for a moment with a happy thought and a sigh that says, "Wow. God's creation is GOOD!" I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Seeing pieces of heaven (in varying forms) shouldn't make us recoil in disgust. They should make us SMILE because it's just a taste of what's to come!

#2 - I'm not so inclined to believe a Times report, esp. one that quotes anonymous people and disgruntled employees. Having been the victim of a group of angry people who were on a rampage against me -- a Times article isn't going to do it for me. Angry people, in my personal experience as well as law office experience, seem prone to exaggeration.

The most compelling arguments in the article are saved for the very end (when I was already particularly disgusted with the reporter) in which they quote Kinkade's personal transcripted testimony. THAT is the most damaging evidence and I would say it is a pitty that he, in particularly, peed on Pooh. Definitely a bad move on his part.

I'm not excusing his actions or justifying them. What I'm saying is -- there are a lot of angry people who don't like him right now (for whatever reason). Angry people are not typically ones who speak rationally or with a whole lot of truth at times. Because of their anger I have a hard time picking up a spear along with them.

#3 - The article seems to be slanted to paint (har, har) him out to be greedy because he happened to make money on his art.

Again I would say - what if people all over the world started falling in love with SH's photography (or mine. They could fall in love with mine.I wouldn't complain!) and wanted to buy it. What if you found a perfect SH Photography nitch and began to fill it? Along the way, let's say you happened to make money at it. Is that a sin?

God gives us talents to USE, right? Not to hide under a bushel, deny we own and refuse to use. Sometimes He gives us talents which can provide a living. Now then there are those that will complain, "But he made MORE than a living out of it and I have nothing!" (One guy in the article pretty much said that.) To him I say, "SO?" Just because Kinkade has talent AND a business mind doesn't make him evil. Money is not evil. How you use it can be evil. But owning it is not.

People love to hop on others who have made money. Esp. when they don't have any themselves. But complaining and wallowing in lack of funds is sin in itself and not Kinkade's fault if I don't have as big of a bank account as he does.

This society in which we live loves to play the victim. Christians have found a successful painter who sided with them that they can peg and attack....making us just like the rest of society who cry and complain (can anyone say Katrina?).

All that to say - I'm not feeling such a hasty need to attack. He made money. So what. At the very least, that shouldn't be the main argument against him.

3/08/2006 12:01 PM  
Blogger John Jackson said...

I dunno, I always kinda liked his paintings. He's no Picasso, but he's at least okay.

3/13/2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger Chestertonian Rambler said...

I think it's time for a quote from P.G. Wodehouse:

"I believe there are two ways of writing novels. One is mine, making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring real life althogether; the other is going right deep down into life and not caring a damn."

I don't think anyone, after thinking reasonably, will object to all forms of light-hearted entertainment of the "musical comedy" genre. And while I'm on the fence regarding Kinkade, he certainly seems to fall under the "musical comedy" blanket.

At the same time, I think it's hard to stay humble when you're a major icon who creates light-hearted art. Dealing with heavy issues, I think, can be a great incentive for taking ourselves (as artists) lightly.

3/17/2006 12:53 PM  

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