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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:14 PM

Thomas Kinkade, one of nation's most popular painters, dies in Los Gatos

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Thomas Kinkade, the "Painter of Light" and one of most popular artists in America, died suddenly Friday at his Los Gatos home. He was 54.

His family said in a statement that his death appeared to be from natural causes.

"Thom provided a wonderful life for his family,'' his wife, Nanette, said in a statement. "We are shocked and saddened by his death.''

His paintings are hanging in an estimated 1 of every 20 homes in the United States. Fans cite the warm, familiar feeling of his mass-produced works of art, while it has become fashionable for art critics to dismiss his pieces as tacky. In any event, his prints of idyllic cottages and bucolic garden gates helped establish a brand -- famed for their painted high lights -- not commonly seen in the art world.

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/los-gatos/ci_20344195/thomas-kinkade-one-nations-most-popular-painters-dies



Wow. I'm surprised.

165 replies, 23851 views

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Reply Thomas Kinkade, one of nation's most popular painters, dies in Los Gatos (Original post)
UrbScotty Apr 2012 OP
Botany Apr 2012 #1
RKP5637 Apr 2012 #5
Botany Apr 2012 #6
RKP5637 Apr 2012 #17
rfranklin Apr 2012 #39
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #56
JackRiddler Apr 2012 #124
mahatmakanejeeves Apr 2012 #77
Geoff R. Casavant Apr 2012 #80
JackRiddler Apr 2012 #125
patrice Apr 2012 #60
RKP5637 Apr 2012 #61
pacalo Apr 2012 #15
marions ghost Apr 2012 #45
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #49
Surya Gayatri Apr 2012 #105
Lint Head Apr 2012 #96
Surya Gayatri Apr 2012 #106
marions ghost Apr 2012 #115
pacalo Apr 2012 #98
marions ghost Apr 2012 #114
47of74 Apr 2012 #122
indivisibleman Apr 2012 #100
marions ghost Apr 2012 #121
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #72
DonCoquixote Apr 2012 #89
Norrin Radd Apr 2012 #22
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2012 #2
Mz Pip Apr 2012 #9
swag Apr 2012 #3
RetroLounge Apr 2012 #42
LineLineReply !
mwdem Apr 2012 #90
TheCruces Apr 2012 #135
proud2BlibKansan Apr 2012 #4
pitohui Apr 2012 #101
CountAllVotes Apr 2012 #138
pipoman Apr 2012 #7
Drunken Irishman Apr 2012 #8
Warpy Apr 2012 #95
Surya Gayatri Apr 2012 #108
mopinko Apr 2012 #116
anti-alec Apr 2012 #10
DavidDvorkin Apr 2012 #11
patrice Apr 2012 #63
DavidDvorkin Apr 2012 #66
patrice Apr 2012 #67
regnaD kciN Apr 2012 #29
Frank Cannon Apr 2012 #37
IamK Apr 2012 #44
marions ghost Apr 2012 #47
XemaSab Apr 2012 #32
Rosa Luxemburg Apr 2012 #12
mia Apr 2012 #13
emilyg Apr 2012 #14
OnyxCollie Apr 2012 #16
alarimer Apr 2012 #18
uberblonde Apr 2012 #19
onager Apr 2012 #20
K8-EEE Apr 2012 #21
marions ghost Apr 2012 #48
bluestateguy Apr 2012 #23
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #52
kwassa Apr 2012 #91
lob1 Apr 2012 #24
CrawlingChaos Apr 2012 #25
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2012 #69
KamaAina Apr 2012 #82
Surya Gayatri Apr 2012 #104
Kablooie Apr 2012 #26
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highplainsdem Apr 2012 #134
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Ken Burch Apr 2012 #27
Tabasco_Dave Apr 2012 #28
marions ghost Apr 2012 #41
yardwork Apr 2012 #94
ProfessionalLeftist Apr 2012 #30
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ProfessionalLeftist Apr 2012 #68
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Frank Cannon Apr 2012 #38
marions ghost Apr 2012 #40
CanSocDem Apr 2012 #71
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harmonicon Apr 2012 #46
Tom Ripley Apr 2012 #79
FLAprogressive Apr 2012 #85
FlaGranny Apr 2012 #88
EFerrari Apr 2012 #107
Surya Gayatri Apr 2012 #109
sofa king Apr 2012 #36
OmahaBlueDog Apr 2012 #129
slackmaster Apr 2012 #43
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #57
slackmaster Apr 2012 #58
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #74
NBachers Apr 2012 #83
patrice Apr 2012 #62
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #51
NYC_SKP Apr 2012 #53
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #54
NYC_SKP Apr 2012 #55
RKP5637 Apr 2012 #65
joanbarnes Apr 2012 #59
tawadi Apr 2012 #130
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #64
NNN0LHI Apr 2012 #73
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Throd Apr 2012 #76
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #99
KamaAina Apr 2012 #81
FLAprogressive Apr 2012 #86
Surya Gayatri Apr 2012 #112
NJCher Apr 2012 #87
2ndAmForComputers Apr 2012 #93
TrogL Apr 2012 #97
OmahaBlueDog Apr 2012 #102
DCBob Apr 2012 #111
marions ghost Apr 2012 #120
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pfitz59 Apr 2012 #103
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tawadi Apr 2012 #119
JackRiddler Apr 2012 #123
kwassa Apr 2012 #133
Renew Deal Apr 2012 #139
tawadi Apr 2012 #147
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marions ghost Apr 2012 #141
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marions ghost Apr 2012 #149
OmahaBlueDog Apr 2012 #151
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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:17 PM

1. Off to the cottage in the sky

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Response to Botany (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:22 PM

5. Beautiful, isn't it ... n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:30 PM

6. ah ah ah

n/t

his art gave joy to many people so i wish his friends and family well.

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Response to Botany (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:39 AM

17. There is such magic in all of his paintings, places one would want to be, so

calm, peaceful and beautiful. I often changed PC wall paper reflecting the image of the house I would like to be living in ... just staring into his paintings gives one a sense of inner peace. I really sense a loss.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:05 AM

39. In the same league with great artists like Keane...

 

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #39)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:17 AM

56. Horsies!

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #56)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 04:34 PM

124. I prefer the improved versions...

Is it too soon for the Kinkade parodies?



Because some of these rock.













http://www.somethingawful.com/d/photoshop-phriday/paintings-light-part.php?page=1

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #39)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:53 PM

77. Margaret Keane?

All this time I thought it was Walter Keane.

Your post has embiggened me.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #77)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:49 PM

80. There's a story behind that

When they divorced, each of them claimed to have been the one who actually painted the paintings. The judge simply ordered them both to produce paintings in the courtroom.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #77)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 04:39 PM

125. Add Bil Keane for the trifecta.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:49 AM

60. so calm, so peaceful . . . so empty. Nothing personal, just a fact. nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #60)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:51 AM

61. Yep! Nope, didn't take it personally. n/t

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Response to Botany (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:29 AM

15. I don't care what the art critics say. I get a cozy feeling looking at his paintings.

It's sad that he's gone.

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Response to pacalo (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:36 AM

45. And some get a queasy feeling...

Kinkade may be the greatest scam artist America has ever produced. 35 million a quarter in his heyday--now that is TALENT! He exploited the fact that Americans will buy anything if they can be sold that it's "the" thing.
So I give that to him--he was a marketing genius!

About the only thing you can say about the junk is that it is commercial shlock that at least was not produced cheap in a Chinese factory (but looks like it). Kinkades were mass-produced--his "apprentices" would line them up, paint all the skies, then paint all the trees, etc--that type of mindless factory style production. There is no difference between that and "famous french artist" Chinese factories doing knock-offs. Why his buyers did not try to get a true appraisal of the work they were buying is beyond me.

Kinkade's stuff does not rise to the level of what is called art by every true artist and art appraiser in every country in the world. But as commercial exploitation, it beats anything--Kinkade was a brilliant businessman.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #45)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:24 AM

49. Totally agree. His was the "sucker born every minute"

 

school of art.

His paintings are the textbook definition of sentimental . . . romanticized views of what never was and never can be.

It's "art" as an eight year old girl who calls herself "princess" would define it.

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Response to mistertrickster (Reply #49)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 08:24 AM

105. YEEESSSSSS! The only thing missing is the unicorns!

Or perhaps I spoke too soon?

Now just watch somebody post one of his "tableaux" featuring "The Lady and the Unicorn" or "The Princess and Black Beauty".

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #45)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:12 PM

96. CNN is reporting like he is some great artist. He was a great CON artist.

People like Kinkade pollute the good in life, placate and use the unthinking masses just like the televangelists use fear to line there pockets with the money of people who are at a desperate place in their journey through life. The rich pricks that bought his crap as an investment deserve what they get.

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Response to Lint Head (Reply #96)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 08:35 AM

106. +1,000! The hagiographic paeans in the media

are every bit as sickly saccharine as the self-styled "art" and its "creator".

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Response to Lint Head (Reply #96)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 10:18 AM

115. Yep the media will spin it

because they're in the honey-coated BS biz. Never mind the truth.

That's why I feel strongly about this Kinkade scam--it's an excellent example of how we are exploited everyday by American no-ethics business, and how the media exalts such a shyster and even intelligent people excuse and tolerate his activities.

Buying Kinkade paintings = like buying Enron stocks or a piece of a Florida swamp.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #45)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:54 PM

98. As the saying goes, you learn something new every day.

Kinkades were mass-produced--his "apprentices" would line them up, paint all the skies, then paint all the trees, etc--that type of mindless factory style production
.

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Response to pacalo (Reply #98)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 10:00 AM

114. Here's more about how the products were created...

"Kinkade's divine yet technical inspiration was the perfection of a process by which an original oil painting he creates a dozen new images a year is digitally photographed, transferred onto a plastic-like surface and glued onto canvas. Each print visits "highlight artists," mostly Hispanic and Asian hourly workers. In a paint-by-number style, they add a dot of red to a tree here, a dash of white to an interior light there.

The process allows Kinkade to keep his originals, which he locks in vaults when they're not on tour in a mobile home. (His early paintings were sold; collectors say they trade hands in the low six figures.)

There are nine versions of each reproduced image, from Standard Numbered editions, for a few hundred dollars, to Studio Proofs that feature a textured canvas, more highlighting and Kinkade's machine-etched signature compete with his DNA, courtesy of mixing the ink with the painter's hair and blood."

----------
http://www.usatoday.com/life/2002/2002-03-12-kinkade.htm

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #114)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 03:59 PM

122. So I suppose you could clone the guy by scraping paint off his painting?

Just asking.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #45)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:16 PM

100. Thank you for this post among others on this thread that point out

that this guy is not an artist. There is very little to admire about his "paintings".
He marketed kitch. His is the sort of stuff you find at craft fairs. When Grandma Spoon Decorator died no one announced the passing of her great talent. When Uncle Beer Can Hat passed on we did not mention his numerous works. So now this Thomas Kitch Painter dies it is the passing of a great American artist???? No way. Imagine a list of great American Artists and seeing the name of Thomas Kincade listed. It is absolutely absurd.

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Response to indivisibleman (Reply #100)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 03:48 PM

121. Hallmark Cards will mourn his passing...

and the Chinese factories churning out mugs...

Kinkade was a much more talented scammer than Grandma Spoon Decorator and Uncle Beer Can Hat -- but you're right, the talent was not in the art.

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Response to pacalo (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:10 PM

72. "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like"

is essentially what you are saying. It is an old defensive cliche regarding the visual and other arts.

Horst Janson wrote:

What that really means is 'I like what I know and I reject whatever fails to match the things I am familiar with.' Such likes are not in truth ours at all for they have been imposts by habit and culture without personal choice. We cherish the illusion of having made a personal choice in art when we have not...

In other words, you are not as autonomous as you think you are.

Let's reword the cliche:

"Who cares what art experts say, having spent their whole lives studying art and exposing themselves to the massive amount of creative visual expressions produced throughout human history, studying the many artists who have spent their lives exploring the vast potentials of the painting arts, including technique, creativity, and expression, to the greater understanding of our human existence. None of that means anything just as long as someone gets to feel good from some con artist's third-rate fantasy art." Sounds kind of hedonistic and anti-intellectual, doesn't it?

Kinkade was very good at exploiting the need of people to hold on to those ideas of what feels "cozy."

He was a greedy hack, and for a while, a very good one, but not sincere. There is no inspiration there.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #72)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:06 PM

89. Yes and no

Yes, a lot of "I know what I like" is fear of the unknown, but also, some of it is a simple dislike of things that might be popular, but are still crap.

Andy Warhol is considered a great painter now, but when you read his diaries, you will read that he not only had contempt for his work, but for art itself. There are many that are respected by the "art World" such as Jeff Koons, that are every bit as kitchy and trashy as Kincaid ever was, to say nothing of so called "lowbrow art" type like Anthony Auslang.

Look here and tell me some of this is not "kitschy", even though these two are darlings of the art world.
http://www.jeffkoons.com/site/index.html
http://www.ausgangart.com/

The point is, just because the masses think your stuff is dreck does not always mean you are some misunderstood genius.

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Response to Botany (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:02 AM

22. Oddly enough, he painted backgrounds in the animated movie "Fire & Ice"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_and_Ice_(1983_film)

If you watch the movie, he used the same weird muted iridescent palette.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:17 PM

2. That is surprising.

I'm betting a heart attack took him. He might well have thrown a clot into one of the major cardiac arteries, and that'll do it. The heart cannot recover when this happens...

Safe passage to him, and my condolences to all who loved him.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:40 PM

9. It happens

My dad was 53, my neighbor 47. Sometimes something catastrophic happens to people one would not expect. It could have been an aneurysm. A friend of mine from high school had one blow in his brain. He was 20.

I couldn't stand his paintings but he had family and friends who love him so my sympathies to them.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:17 PM

3. Obama's domestic drones are working!

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Response to swag (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:23 AM

42. ...



RL

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Response to swag (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:32 PM

90. !

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Response to swag (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 01:15 AM

135. If this was FB, I'd have to like this

+1

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:21 PM

4. Natural causes at age 54

That's pretty young.

RIP.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:32 PM

101. i know tons of people who died in their early 50s

it is not young, it is the age at which people start to die of cancer, heart disease, etc. one of my friend's wives even died of the flu at 52 -- this to me isn't just theory as i know plenty of people who died age 52 to age 54 and NO they WEREN'T drug users, the druggies started dying in their 20s

we have VERY unrealistic ideas in america about what young is -- the stories we tell ourselves about what young is are really very harmful lies, because they cause people to plan their lives very badly

if you are in your 50s, every day could be your last and to live as if you are still young is to continue putting off your life forever

life expectancy in america in 1900 was the early 40s and we have not changed the human DNA since 1900, everything we have after 50 is a GIFT either courtesy of good luck, good genetics, or medical technology

54 is not young, and i'm sorry that mr. kincade spent his life cheating people, assuming that he could be saved and get forgiveness on his deathbed in his 80s so it was OK to lie, steal, and rip off today

the rest of us should learn from his example

treat people decently TODAY because tomorrow may not get here and you don't want to die a liar, a cheat, and a thief

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Response to pitohui (Reply #101)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 04:14 AM

138. agree

I am shocked by his death but 54 years old is when I almost died myself. Anything like this can happen after you hit the big 40 it seems to me.

I happened to have liked some of his art like the perfect red rose and the perfect yellow rose.

I like some of the cottages he painted too.

I hope he is resting in peace.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:36 PM

7. In recent years became something of a pop culture icon..

sort of Warhol-esque..RIP

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:38 PM

8. His paintings were cliched.

But RIP.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:56 PM

95. Most artists I know called him "Painter of Shite"

but condolences to the people he left behind.

Anyone who needs an antidote to his paintings reproduced in this thread should visit http://www.somethingawful.com/d/photoshop-phriday/paintings-light-part.php

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Response to Warpy (Reply #95)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 08:57 AM

108. Bwaaahaaaaa! Laughed my tush off @

http://www.somethingawful.com/. Haven't guffawed like that for quite a spell.

The most hilarious part is how close those horrors are to the spirit of Kinkade's "originals"!

Brilliantly funny site--thanks for bringing it to our attention, Warpy!

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Response to Warpy (Reply #95)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 10:45 AM

116. at least i outlived the bastard.

i knew my bil was unsalvageable when we had a big argument about why he wasn't a real artist.
such a shame that so many TRULY talented artists really do starve. i don't know anyone making an actual living only on their art.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:52 PM

10. 3-1 odds he died of a OD.

 

of cocaine.

The way of Billy Mays.

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:52 PM

11. Or sugar.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:54 AM

63. Nope. Too empty . . . starvation? a "Hunger Artist"? nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #63)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:56 AM

66. I meant as in an overdose of cloying sweetness.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #66)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:58 AM

67. I know that's what you meant. I was just building on the metaphor. nt

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:15 AM

29. Dubious, but...

...I read that, in recent years, he developed something of a drinking problem. He would do occasional bizarre things (such as pissing on a statue of Mickey Mouse at Disney World, then explain it as him "marking his territory") that suggest alcohol issues.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #29)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:33 AM

37. I heard he once took a leak on an elevator in Las Vegas...

while other people were on it. Supposedly, he did this in a lot of places.

So, yeah, I'm suspecting alcohol issues.

Anyway, I hope he's at peace. I'm embarrassed to say that his paintings have always been a guilty pleasure for me.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #29)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:31 AM

44. it was a statue of Winnie the Pooh...

 

Sounds like a fun guy to party with.....


http://www.correntewire.com/christianist_painter_kinkade_urinates_on_winnie_the_pooh_figure_while_drunk

They and others also described incidents in which an allegedly drunken Kinkade heckled illusionists Siegfried and Roy; cursed a former employee's wife who came to his side when he fell off a barstool; fondled a startled woman's breasts at a signing party; and urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.


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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #29)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:46 AM

47. Alcohol is likely it

if your liver gives out, I guess people want to call it "natural causes"... but the truth is, it's a devastating disease which deserves more sympathy and less judgment.

I think he was losing it and the financial losses from his business were a factor.

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:11 AM

32. I'm voting for Hep C

Contracted on a bad weekend in Hollywood.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:06 AM

12. That is a shock

Great artist. Sad.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:11 AM

13. Rest in Peace

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:19 AM

14. RIP

 

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:38 AM

16. RIP.

Painter of Shite.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:44 AM

18. Utter shit all of it.

The worst sort of mass-produced, sentimental shit I have ever seen. And he never painted any of- just exploited a bunch of people and put his name on it.

I would like to take anyone who likes that crap to the Louvre to see REAL art from real artists.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:57 AM

20. Painter of Blight

Uberblonde, thanks for posting that link. I was about to point out that Kink-aid ripped off his gallery owners, but you beat me to it.

Ripped them off in ways other than selling them his diabetes-inducing paintings, that is.

And as a Professional Atheist, I have to point out that Kink-aid was also a Fundie Xian. What a shock!

My workplace used to employ a woman who had the task of decorating offices. She bought Kink-aid's crap by the ton, and always reminded everyone in earshot of his religiosity, while gushing about his "God-given talent."

I thought most of his stuff was not only schlocky but creepy. e.g., all those little cabins in the dark woods with one light in a window. I always assumed orgies were taking place in there. Or maybe human sacrifice/dismemberment.

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Response to onager (Reply #20)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:58 AM

21. Mall culture "fine art." Blech. I prefer comics to that.

But whatever RIP.

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Response to onager (Reply #20)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:05 AM

48. ha ha



Belongs here: http://www.creepiosity.com/

One of the creepiest things was how he advertised that he put some of his own "DNA" in every painting to authenticate it for the ages. Since he liked to urinate on things...

Hell would be having to live in a Kinkade painting...this articel refers to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/2002/2002-03-12-kinkade.htm

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:07 AM

23. He was a conservative Christian but he did not politicize his paintings

I actually liked them, though I am no art expert by any means.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #23)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:30 AM

52. Only a conservative Christian could make millions on paintings that bad.

 

"No one ever got rich overestimating the mind of the American public." H L Menken

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Response to mistertrickster (Reply #52)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:51 PM

91. oh, there is many a liberal with terrible taste in art, too.

We are a very big tent.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:12 AM

24. He went into the light.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:19 AM

25. He was in some serious trouble, I believe

The article doesn't give much detail, but he was being investigated by the FBI for defrauding investors and I understand some of his victims were completely wiped out. He also had a recent DUI. Needless to say, a thorough autopsy is in order, although stress could certainly have been a factor.

This quote from the article got a snort out of me: "He would visit studio executives but also got to know all the homeless people in Los Gatos." Homeless people... in Los Gatos?! This is a town I know very well; it is rich, mean and insular. I have never seen a homeless person in Los Gatos.

I find it the 1-in-20 homes statistic flat out depressing. I guess there's always been a big audience for dreck, but his paintings are so loathsome on every level. It's not just that they're bad, because bad art can oftten be whimsical or endearing, but his stuff was so cynically commercial and just plain ... depressing.

I'll bet his death won't stop the flow of new Kincaide product.

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:33 PM

69. Not as long as the Bradford Exchange exists.

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:54 PM

82. Actually, the Los Gatos police participate in our county homeless collaborative

although I suspect a more accurate statement might be "also got to know both the homeless people in Los Gatos".

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Response to CrawlingChaos (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 08:02 AM

104. Unfortunately, you're already being proved right, CC...his death won't stop the flow...

On the contrary, Alex Witt (MSNBC) did a whole segment on him with an "art" critic, saying there is a renewed interest in the "artist's oeuvre" and a run on his pieces on E-Bay.

I've heard similar hagiographic obituaries on other news outlets.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:25 AM

26. I've got a book of his he wrote before going commercial.

Last edited Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:25 AM - Edit history (1)

The Artist's Guide to Sketching
1982

It is a very good book with tips on how to sketch and paint quickly out in the world to capture things you see.

He wrote it with James Gurney, the artist that illustrated Dinotopia.
http://jamesgurney.com/site/

They were both amazingly facile artists. Their quick sketches were very impressive.
No glowing fairytale cottages at all.

He was a talented artist that decided to market a formula instead of art.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #26)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:15 AM

31. I LOVE the Dinotopia art

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #26)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 12:51 AM

134. Those "fairytale cottages" were really more like Cotswolds cottages.

Go to Google Images and search for

cotswolds cottages

and you'll see what I mean. Look at the houses, the bridges, the gardens.

Does it look nostalgic and idyllic? Of course. But it exists, and it's long been a favorite destination for many people -- and that included Kinkade and his wife.

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Response to highplainsdem (Reply #134)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 02:12 AM

137. Ah yes. Stow on the Wold. Morton on the Marsh. Upper and Lower Slaughter.

I spent a day hiking through the Cotswolds many years ago and yes, it's like his paintings.
One of the most pleasant days of my life, wandering the cow paths and picking wild blackberries that grew beside the road.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:26 AM

27. I'd have thought he'd be beaten to death

by ACTUAL artists.

Just think of the amount of money he earned while still alive, compared to Van Gogh(whose works now bring in millions for people who had nothing whatsoever to do with their creation, people who also, as far as I know, refuse to let ANY of those proceeds actually be used to support artists who are struggling to stay alive now while trying to create).

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:31 AM

28. Does this mean those awful paintings are worth more money now?

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Response to Tabasco_Dave (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:22 AM

41. only if you're a kitsch collector...

That's the sad thing--so many people think art appreciates when someone dies. Only if the art was worthy to begin with.

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Response to Tabasco_Dave (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:38 PM

94. No, probably not. They were grossly overvalued because of the marketing scam.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:56 AM

30. He was only 54...

...and died of "natural causes"? What a shame. My mom loves his work. I know that to the rather snobby art establishment, his work was considered pedestrian however many people found warmth and charm in it. R.I.P. Mr. Kinkade.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:25 AM

35. his liver was 104... n/t

 

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:24 AM

50. Know the truth

Read this:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/2002/2002-03-12-kinkade.htm

Excerpt:

"We're not in the art business. We're in the hope and inspiration business," says Ford, 40, alluding to the Christian subtext in Kinkade's work. (The painter became a born-again Christian at age 20 during a revival in Southern California.)..."

------------

This isn't about art--it's about reflecting back to people their idea of safe, beautiful fantasy worlds that symbolize security, in a time when people do not feel secure. And in that wish for a better, more peaceful world I completely sympathize with your mother and those who love Kinkade's message. The kinder, gentler world is a worthy goal.

But don't confuse Kinkade's feel good products with art.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #50)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:20 PM

68. Art is in the eye of the beholder

You dont get to dictate to others what art is or not. On the other end of the spectrum, some people call Damien Hirst's formeldahyde-soaked cadavers art. I don't. But - to each his own. I don't fancy either of their stuff particularly, but many others think it's art, even if low-class or macabre art but, art nonetheless. Live and let live.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #68)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:52 PM

70. Cliches don't get to the point of this amazing scam

--the level of fraud perpetrated by Kinkade puts him in a separate category. It's commercial junk posing as art -- that's why simplistic comparisons don't apply. Kinkade's genius was in capitalizing on the fact that most Americans can be sold anything, if you market it right...

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #70)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 09:13 AM

110. Kinkaid, artist for people who think Disney is too dark.

Even the weird crap people bring home from vacations usually has some relation to life. Give me a lime green sponge iguana on a stick over Kinkaid's bilious cr@p any day.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #110)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 05:16 PM

127. yeah, in Disney the spooky places actually have witches in them...

lime green sponge iguana on a stick....much better value for the money for sure...

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:42 AM

33. Well now,

I don't really care much for his paintings, but they are definitely not "amateur." This thread reminds me of something. Think back to the 1950's and rock and roll. The opinions here very much parallel the arguments of connoisseurs of good music with those of rock fans. Music and art for the masses vs. that of the connoisseurs of Bach and Mozart. You know, I love classical music, I love rock, and I even love country. Who's to say that a person can't love Monet, Van Gogh AND Kinkaid and what is wrong with that?

P.S. So sad to die so young.

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 07:22 AM

34. Ya' know, FlaCranny, you are absolutely right.

I really don't like his sugary-sweet cottage scenes and such, but, as something of a 'long out of practice' artist, myself, I can DEFINITELY tell you that his paintings are not 'amateurish' - at least not in execution. Yes, they are dreadful 'postcard' shlock, but that's just MY opinion on the matter......and we all know what they say about opinions, don't we.

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:38 AM

38. Well said, Granny.

De gustibus non est disputandum, and all that.

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:20 AM

40. you can't love Monet, van Gogh AND Kinkade...

--that insults Monet and van Gogh, who were not scam artists extraordinaire like Kinkade.

Kinkade worked the fact that many Americans don't know the difference.

Kinkades are now worth nothing, while Monet etc...

There is a HUGE difference.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #40)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:58 PM

71. It's "art" we love...



...not the economics, nor the politics or the psychology of the ART INDUSTRY.

.

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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #71)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:00 PM

78. Kinkade = art industry

Nothing original or special about it, just reproductions of generic fantasy scenes. Seen one, seen em all.

Fine if people like it and it makes them feel good, but then they should buy it at FAIR prices for mass-produced decorations--NOT at prices for original artwork.

This kind of scam hurts artists who don't sell their souls to the devil like Kinkade did.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #78)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:37 PM

84. Fair price argument is

interesting. Some people love his stuff. The price they will pay for it depends on how much they want it. The buyer decides how much they will pay for "art." Every artist sells his work for as much as people will pay. I don't know why Kinkaid should be different, no matter how he lives his life.

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #84)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:54 PM

92. The prices were artificially inflated

because he sold them as originals when they were actually factory-produced. Most unsuspecting buyers believed that Kinkades were worth the astronomical prices. The dealers were actually lying to the buyers. It approached a cult-like activity.

Kinkade was not a practicing artist--he ran a factory. So you can't compare this to "every artist" who "sells his work for as much as people will pay." The fact that Kincade was able to do this undermines artists who produce original artwork.

OK--now don't take this as an insult FlaGranny-- I certainly don't mean it that way--but the fact that you can even COMPARE Kinkade to legitimate artists who produce original art IS THE CRUX of the problem.

This is HOW he was able to perpetrate the scam. Because most Americans don't know the difference. But
when you don't know how to value something, before forking over thousands, you would ask an expert, right? These days you look on the internet to look for negative reviews before buying some commercial product--right? Most people feel burned if their investments go bust.

But Kincade was not selling art--he was selling an idea, a dream, a vision of security and better times. He plugged into a deep psychological need--for reassurance on a lot of levels. I don't care what people want to waste their money on to fulfill their inner needs, but you can't compare Kinkade's exploitative enterprize to the work of artists operating honestly.

mg

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #40)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 03:59 AM

158. BS! Of course you can love the work of all of these artists. I love what my baby grandson draws,

and some people buy art that is drawn by elephants, etc. Honestly, art is just putting media to paper. Of course, some will be marketed and some won't, that's the way of the world.

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Response to juajen (Reply #158)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 02:04 PM

161. OK you can love kitsch art and you can love fine art

but let's call kitsch what it is and not equate the two. That's where the problem is. And that's how Kinkade
snagged & ripped off his adoring fans. It's about honesty...which we don't have much of in America.

I appreciate fine arts but I don't seek to rid the world of paintings on black velvet. In fact I think there's a lot of kitsch art that's collectible and cool (not Kinkade, too sweet--give me the big-eyed cats--in fact I have a pair from the 50's).

This isn't about not being inclusive. It's about understanding what constitutes value in art, and what you should pay big bucks for and what you shouldn't.

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:38 AM

46. Who's to say? I, for one.

Music is something that I know very well, and I appreciate any style of it done well. Comparing styles doesn't pass the test of whether or not Kinkaid was a terrible artist (he was). There's great classical music and great pop music, and there's also great "fine" art and great popular art. There is, for instance, a new book of Daniel Clowes's work out this week - that's good popular art.

I've heard more terrible classical music than most people have heard any music. It's out there. Style has nothing to do with quality. Good things are good, and shit things are shit. I'm sorry for this guy's family that he's dead, but it's no loss to the art world, which he was never a part of any more than is a graphic artist who designs Hallmark cards. It's a product designed to function as part of a commercial enterprise.

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:39 PM

79. A more accurate comparison for Kinkade would be Lawrence Welk, not rock and roll of the 50s

schlocky, sentimental, junk for uptight white people

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Response to Tom Ripley (Reply #79)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:40 PM

85. +1

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Response to Tom Ripley (Reply #79)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:58 PM

88. No matter what you think of his work

or Lawrence Welk's, for that matter. Many, many people loved them both. My mother adored Lawrence Welk because he took her back to her younger self and the musicals of the 1940's that she loved. It was a happy place to be. Kinkaid brings to mind idyllic time (that, of course, never really existed), but many long for. It's a sentimental thing that touches many people, especially as they get older. Why anyone should have a problem with either of them I don't know. By the way, my Mom was white, but certainly not up tight. She was as Democratic and democratic as a person could be. It's rather insulting to her and to the many nice old folks who still enjoy Welk on PBS as well as people who enjoy a painting of an idyllic fantasy. Nostalgia - old people seem to have it and their years to enjoy life are becoming more limited each year.

P.S. I don't personally care for either Lawrence Welk or Kinkaid. Do enjoy a tiny bit of Mitch Miller on occasion though.

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Response to FlaGranny (Reply #88)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 08:44 AM

107. The problem is Welk took great music and ruined it with his horrendous arrangements.

That's not really nostalgia, it's something else. Caricature, maybe. Mitch Miller never sounded like a satire of the tunes he recorded.

Kincaid's stuff makes my teeth hurt and looks like indigestion. Western art is full of fantasy, when you think about it. Myth, angels and monsters, other worlds, impossible viewpoints. None of those things demand the crowded vacancy of Kinkaid's unintentionally lurid landscapes.

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Response to Tom Ripley (Reply #79)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 09:12 AM

109. +1,000! Not an original brush stroke in the lot!

Just as derivative as Welk's MUSAC for the masses...

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:26 AM

36. I guess the Kinkade "art bubble" is about to burst, too.

Was he not accused of anonymously buying his own paintings back in order to drive their prices up?

http://paintersofblight.blogspot.com/

I'll be interested to see if other journalists confirm or pass on one of Kinkade's more unusual alleged traits, his apparent uncontrollable urge to urinate on things...

... like the art industry.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #36)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 06:20 PM

129. I think his bubble burst around '06

I have a friend who bought a Kinkade about 10 years ago as an investment, and now regrets it.

I suspect many in his boat will attempt to sell now to unsuspecting buyers who figure the artist's death will equal a quick profit.

In the long run, some of his art may hold value. Examples would include items that are cross collected, such as his painting of the Daytona 500, or some of his Disney-related work.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:24 AM

43. He certainly had a distinctive style and a knack for marketing. Like Ted deGrazia on steroids.

 

RIP Mr. Kinkade. The 1990s will always remember you.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #43)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:18 AM

57. Distinctive style?

His style is inconsistent even within a single painting. The mark of either not really caring about what he was painting, or multiple persons doing the work.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #57)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:26 AM

58. This plate's just for you, Hissyspit

 



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Response to slackmaster (Reply #58)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:13 PM

74. LOL

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #58)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:30 PM

83. Oh my god I'm gasping for breath - Where'd you ever find that plate?

Every time I look at it it's another paroxysm of laughter.

Did someone sign another person's name to it; someone they did not like?

The chest hair . . . the chest hair . . .

It's innocence, garbage, and slaughterhouse all at the same time - Now I don't know if the plate's insane, or I am - Art in all it's full color gory

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #57)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:51 AM

62. machines.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:25 AM

51. He overdosed on saccharine . . . nt

 

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:33 AM

53. Scammer and Crook....

Not sorry to say that I'm not sorry to see him go, I've been a critic since I first walked into a gallery in, of all places, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

More than anything, he sold prints to people who thought they were originals. He could get away with not calling them prints because other people painted little dots of "light" on his prints. Pure scam.

Kinkade's works are sold by mail order and in dedicated retail outlets as high-quality prints, often using texturizing techniques on real canvas to make the surface of the finished prints mimic the raised surface of the original painting. Some of the prints also feature light effects that are painted onto the print surface by hand by "skilled craftsmen," touches that add to the illusion of light and the resemblance to an original work of art, and which are then sold at higher prices.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kinkade



He took advantage of probably millions by overcharging for his shit. It is a crime.

He also lost lawsuits specifically for crimes in his dealings, as reported in many of today's news stories.

```

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #53)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:40 AM

54. In 2009, he was investigated by the FBI for defrauding investors.

 

I don't think you can be a rich conservative Christian today without a couple of FBI investigations, can you?

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Response to mistertrickster (Reply #54)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:46 AM

55. 2006: Arbitration board awards $860,000 in damages and $1.2 million in fees and expenses to victims.

In 2006, an arbitration board awarded Karen Hazlewood and Jeffrey Spinello $860,000 in damages and $1.2 million in fees and expenses due to Kinkade's company " to disclose material information" that would have discouraged them from investing in the gallery. The award was later increased to $2.8 million with interest and legal fees. The plaintiffs and other former gallery owners have also leveled accusations of being pressured to open additional galleries that were not financially viable, being forced to take on expensive, unsalable inventory, and being undercut by discount outlets whose prices they were not allowed to match.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #55)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:55 AM

65. Wow, I never knew all this. Lots of stuff was going on with him. n/t

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:41 AM

59. Rest in peace. His work was beautiful.

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Response to joanbarnes (Reply #59)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 07:20 PM

130. Just don't post any of it

Unless you want a snarky reply.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:54 AM

64. Natural causes at 54???

I'll admit, his paintings were cheesy and tacky, but I LIKE cheesy and tacky.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #64)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:12 PM

73. Natural causes

Hired in my job with a tall, lanky, good looking kid from the south. Don't remember his name but he looked and talked just like Jimmy Dean. He had told me he had traveled up north to get a job at Fords. That is what he called Ford. Fords. He was 18 or 19.

First day on the job we were walking to the coffee crib for our first break and he collapsed and went down onto the cherry wood floor like a bag of potatoes. The plant nurse came right out and declared him dead on the spot. Remember her saying he was probably dead before he hit the floor.

It does happen.

Don't let anyone ever kid you. Life is really precious.

Don

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:17 PM

75. "He was very aware of it and didn't care at all"...

Alex Witt's guest on MSNBC...didn't catch her name...knew him, and said that most serious artists didn't respect him...they acknowledged him as a "competent draftsman who could paint a cottage and make it look like a cottage," but they didn't respect him as an "artist." She said "He was very aware of it and didn't care at all," and felt that one day he would be vindicated. That clearly never happened.

I have friends who have several Kinkade KNOCKOFFS hanging in their home. First time I saw one it "looked like" his work, but something was a little off. I said "Is that a Kinkade" and they replied "No...it just looks like a Kinkade."

Like everyone else, I have friends who both love and hate his work. R.I.P.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:03 PM

76. Now who are the art school hipsters going to sneer at?

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Response to Throd (Reply #76)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:09 PM

99. So if all the "art school hipsters" die, who are you going to sneer at?

You can realize that his work is crap and he was a con artist without being an art school hipster, and you can communicate that his work was crap and he was a con artist without sneering at him.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 03:52 PM

81. I had no idea he was local

Who says the Bay Area doesn't have an art scene?

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:42 PM

86. Middle Aged, Suburban, Republican White Ladies are probably in deep mourning.

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Response to FLAprogressive (Reply #86)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 09:27 AM

112. Probably organizing support group meetings as we speak...

They'll take turns reciting paeans to the soaring artistic talent that has left us too soon--
and wonder how many more potential masterpieces the world will now be deprived of.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:49 PM

87. what you see is not what you get

Isn't it interesting that a guy who would paint pictures where everything is cozy, warm, and perfect would defraud his gallery owners, pee in an elevator, grab a woman's boob, and call his family his "proudest achievement?"

Thanks to everyone who provided links upthread. I didn't know most of this.


Cher

p.s. and did you also know he "wrote" a line of sappy Christian books?

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:19 PM

93. So, I suppose he rises from the grave tomorrow?

Amazing. Even his date of death was glurgy.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:35 PM

97. I'm actually upset about this

I loved to mock the man's paintings that were full of visual non-sequesters but that's too young to die

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:05 AM

102. His real legacy is that he's changed how commercial art is sold and marketed

You may dislike Kinkade's work (I reckon he laughed all the way to the bank), and you can call him a con-artist (although he won more arbitration cases than he lost), but his multi-level approach to selling reproductions of his work is now copied by similar commercial artists like Terry Redlin, Dave Barnhouse, and Andy Thomas.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #102)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 09:19 AM

111. I dont care for his art but you are right.

There are more and more "real" artists copying his marketing methods. The technology of lithography has improved so much its hard to tell original from copy now and it allows more people to afford to have high quality art for the fraction of an original.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #102)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 03:34 PM

120. He misrepresented his works as originals done by him

and that's how he made his vast fortune. Artists that sell reproductions today can't make anywhere near the money Kinkade got through his fraudulent practices unless they are running a similar factory. But you can't make the money he did just by selling reproductions.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #120)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 06:16 PM

128. I agree that they won't make as much, but...

..the point I was trying to make (and that was echoed by DC Bob) was that high quality lithography has basically allowed artists to paint an oil, popularize it, and then sell reproductions in varying levels of quality -- both signed and unsigned. Additionally, while they don't build chains of franchisees the way Kinkade did, some have buillt large galleries of their own work that allow fans and tourists to see original oils, and then purchase framed prints, puzzles, mugs, Xmas cards, etc. Terry Redlin has done this in Watertown, SD. Andy Thomas has done this on a smaller scale in Carthage, MO.

BTW, Kinkade is not the first artist alleged to have engaged in the practice of having others do all or part of his/her work.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #128)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 07:54 PM

131. and my point is...

NOT that other artists have not had helpers, apprentices, whatever

NOT that other artists haven't capitalized on photo repro technology --I have NO problem with that as long as the buyer knows what he/she is getting -- and that what they are buying will not increase in value but only decrease, as most tangible products do. Fine to make art for the lower budget & price reproductions fairly.

BUT what Kinkade did was to represent his work as precious objects--painted or at least partly painted by him, when in fact, many were canvas repros touched up by factory workers. He PRICED this work as high as original artworks. He duped buyers into thinking they would hold their value, when in fact, they don't have that potential. But most people don't understand how art marketing works--he capitalized on that naivete (which I don't fault people for, at all--we've all been sold something by scammers). Kinkade built his empire on false pretenses, ie. lies. He was a fake.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #131)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:20 AM

156. I agree that the Chinese paint-by-numbers stuff was deceitful

You and I have no disagreement there.

My original point was that Kinkade's legacy would be to change the way art was marketed. I'll go so far as to say that if Dali were alive today, he'd have embraced Kinkade's retail sales methods (not necessarily the fake paint by numbers part, but the branded retail stores), because the one thing Dali loved as much as Gala was money.

I'll show you links to two commercial artists that I happen to like. One is Terry Redlin, and the other is Andy Thomas. Both have, to greater or lesser degrees, embraced branded marketing, and both offer a variety of reproduction options for a variety of budgets.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #156)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:48 PM

160. More than deceitful

it was deceptive and criminal.

I doubt anyone could quite do the same thing today not because there are any greater protections --there are fewer than ever--but because the times have changed. I'd like to think that Kinkade's scam has taught many of his buyers that what they thought was a solid investment wasn't and maybe they'll warn their friends. In other words that people have wised up. Not sure about that.

Making Kinkade into some kind of pioneer in innovative art marketing and citing other artists doing that today (more honestly) exalts him much more than the guy deserves and is a way to try to obscure the issues, ie. trying to put lipstick on a pig. Kinkade made his fortunes by brilliant huckstering in the style of PT Barnum, not merely trying to sell his art with new strategies. He also has some things in common with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh --a characteristic that his apologists would like to gloss over.

Many artists use branded marketing--ie. go slick and commercial--this is true, but I bet they are not making the vast fortune that Kinkade amassed by scamming. I don't fault these so-called "branded" artists for doing whatever they can to sell--they know their customer base needs this branding and it's not a crime to go that way if you're just out for the bucks. I don't care if people want to buy syrupy decorative art but they do need to know that the $800 Kinkade reproduction they bought (and that would be a cheap one) is worth about $50 max. It would make more sense to just buy the junk direct from the Chinese factory.

If Kinkade had just started out doing cards and mugs and low cost reproductions I wouldn't care, but he built his name and fortunes on a fundamental set of lies. Many people got taken in. He was a talented exploiter. But I see his apologists are working hard at the posthumous cover-up.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #163)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 12:34 PM

164. Thanks!

I'd agree with the Rockwellian realist label for his nature works. However, he does some fantasyscape type stuff as well.

I've considered/am considering buying one of these two for Mrs. OBD as a holiday gift (about $650 framed). (Mrs. OBD loves the Holidays)





Are they worth $650? Perhaps. I wouldn't be looking to resell them.

As an aside, Terry Redlin is in a skilled nursing facility outside of Watertown, SD, and suffers from dementia. One possible cause, of course, is Alzheimers. However, another cause that has been suggested is lead poisoning. Naturalist/landscape artists apparantly gravitate toward a particular shade of white oil paint (the specific name of which escapes me) that easily provides large coverage areas, and is the perfect shade for snow. Unfortunately, it contains lead.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #164)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:48 PM

165. So for $650

I am assuming these are reproductions on canvas in a fancy frame. What size they are of course is a factor. If a repro, they should tell you how many they will print and you should get a certificate of authenticity that this is in facsimile of the artist's original. As for cost, it's not the thousands that Kinkade was charging so you are safe from a big rip off. Still, it is not cheap (depending on size...) --I'd make sure the frame is high quality. Be picky...ask questions. KNOW what you are buying.

As long as you don't care about resale, sure, give your wife what would make her happy. But another idea would be to look around for an artist in your vicinity that you both like and buy some original art.

Wondering when these snow fantasies came about in Redlin's career...after Kinkade's commercial success perhaps? They seem derivative of Kinkade (who was derivative of others).

Even if he was using lead white, I doubt he got lead poisoning unless he was really careless and ingested a lot of it. His paintings are so meticulous --that doesn't add up to me.

Ahhh, the nostalgia for happier times....and the sense of community...

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 07:50 AM

103. Condolences to Nanette and the girls...

Not only will he be missed by his fans, he leaves behind a wife and four young daughters. He had so much more to give..

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 09:42 AM

113. NY Times headline

I found this interesting.

Their headline reads:

Thomas Kinkade, Mass Market Artist, Dies at 54



Cher

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 12:45 PM

117. No disrespect intended to the deceased, or his family, but..

..the guy did hawk his work on home shopping channels, like QVC, for one, so.. yeah, that probably accounts for his fame, and impressive sales figures. Kinkade's art has always struck me as of the motel variety, but, to each his/her own.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 01:22 PM

118. I grew up with Tom in Placerville

Tom and I were not friends but I knew him pretty well. As kids we attended Sugarloaf art camp and at that time he was into drawing cartoons. We were in the same class at El Dorado high. He was something of a showman and had no problem getting up in front of the whole school at rallies and assemblys. I dont really buy the "hardscrabble" childhood he was so fond of refering to and as far as I knew he was not religious as a young man. But he was very smart and a natural promoter who would have succeeded in any sort of business/sales venture. At our 10 year high school reunion Tom was the master of ceremonies and raffled off one of his prints. he even displayed his original artwork at his wedding reception. At the time he had not become the formulaic "Painter of Light" and showed promise as a very talented painter. In the late 80's my family visited Tom and Nanette for dinner at his home outside of Placerville and he showed us a print of a town with the glowing lights in the windows, reflections off the water in the streets, etc., and he told me, "see this light? I'm going to paint this better than this guy" (cant remember the artist). After that he discovered the formula and moved to the bay area. He had talent and I always wished he had gone the route of Thomas Moran and the Hudson River school type landscape artists. He could have done it. Instead he got locked into the money making pot boilers. Sad

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Response to trekbiker (Reply #118)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 01:39 AM

136. I grew up with Thom and Pat too

His early life was pretty bleak. he lived in a trailer at east side of town. he rode my bus. things got better when his mom got a house in town, but he really did have it hard at an early age.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 03:13 PM

119. 54 is way too young, especially for a painter

Especially liked the ones with cabins and snow. But then I rarely listen to critics. I like what I like.

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Response to tawadi (Reply #119)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 04:28 PM

123. Dear god, that is a horror.

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Response to tawadi (Reply #119)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 11:28 PM

133. Sold in sofa-sized paintings for $49.99

Getting cute little elves in the picture costs extra.

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Response to tawadi (Reply #119)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:36 AM

139. I'm not sure what the criticism and snobbery from some people are about

I think the paintings are fine.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #139)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 07:58 PM

147. The pack mentality

The anti-pack pack-mentality, that is.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 04:39 PM

126. McDonald's is the most popular restaurant.

Last edited Sun Apr 8, 2012, 08:21 PM - Edit history (1)

The products of both have more than one thing in common.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 11:14 PM

132. Artist to those who have no friggin' clue about art.

Wake will be held this evening at the Cracker Barrel on I-40 between Bugtussle and Milo.

Snob? Yes, because I actually read and studied art history. History will correct what some popular culture (aka Christian white bread dumbass) tastes think is meaningful.

J

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:37 AM

140. What is the controversy about this guy?

He created paintings that people liked. I think we need more people like that.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #140)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:01 AM

141. Since you asked...

It's not a matter of whether you like or don't like the product. There is kitschy decorative shlock being produced everyday and Americans waste their money on it by the zillions of dollars--this is OK if they are not paying astronomical prices for junk because they don't know any better. The problem is--people were sold it based on the fundamental lie that it is original art. The criticism and frustration with the self-elevation of Kinkade to art star status comes from people who struggle everyday to promote, sell, or contribute to the arts--ie. art, music and performance given to us by honest artists. Kinkade USED them as a stepping stone to his millions.

From post #131:

The point is...NOT that other artists have not had helpers, apprentices, whatever

NOT that other artists haven't capitalized on photo repro technology --no problem with that as long as the buyer knows what he/she is getting -- and that what they are buying will not increase in value but only decrease, as most tangible products do. Fine to make art for the lower budget & price reproductions fairly.

BUT what Kinkade did was to represent his work as precious objects--painted or at least partly painted by him, when in fact, many were canvas repros touched up by factory workers. He PRICED this work as high as original artworks. He duped buyers into thinking they would hold their value relative to the art world, when in fact, they don't have that potential. But most people don't understand how art marketing works--he capitalized on that naivete (which I don't fault people for, at all--we've all been sold something by scammers). Kinkade built his empire on false pretenses, ie. lies. He was a fake. People need to know this.

This is a classic example of unethical American business--but we are so used to businesses being unethical that Kinkade gets away with it. He should have done time in purgatory with Bernie Madoff for awhile. So maybe he was in his own purgatory in life, and anyway he's gone to little cottage in the sky...but he leaves a shabby legacy.

There are scam artists everywhere, and Kinkade is one of the most successful in American history.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #141)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:37 AM

146. These were his paintings right?

It was his work? The allegation is that his work was reproduced and some people might not have known that?

I'm not sure what the scam is. People paid what they wanted to pay. I still don't understand the problem. To me it seems like art snobbery from people that think they know better than everybody else. Those helpless people that "don't know any better" and are "naive" got duped into paying "high" prices. Sounds like jealousy.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #146)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:51 PM

149. No, it was not his actual work. The reproductions were cleverly disguised

by being retouched by his cadre of "highlighters" --and his sales galleries deliberately misled buyers by hyping the Kinkade mystique. Buyers who didn't really know how to compare this stuff to real original art were lured into buying what they thought was a status symbol. They also thought Kinkade was a fine Christian who wouldn't lie and cheat you. They believed that the paintings were being created "especially for them."

There was one of Kinkade's galleries in my town and I let someone try to sell me a painting--I saw how they operated. It was similar to being inducted into a cult. They used the phrase "unique works of art" to describe the reproductions that are touched up by the highlighters. These paintings are about as unique as Beanie babies. The techniques they use are similar to those used in Chinese factories that copy old masters. But those factories are not trying to sell them to consumers as anything other than knock-offs. I suspect that it is not even true that all of the real paintings (sold as originals for very high prices) were actually done by Kinkade himself. His stuff was pathetically easy to copy because it is so formulaic. There are probably Chinese factories now doing "original" Kinkades in case anybody still wants to buy one (but those probably won't have his DNA in it).

There are a lot of analogies--it's like buying Enron stock. Or maybe the roofer who charges you for the high priced shingles and substitutes the cheap ones. We've all been scammed in one way or another, and this is how I see it, rather than as "art snobbery." I don't fault people for their taste, I fault them for being suckers. But the marketing was so underhanded & corrupt that I'd cut the buyers some slack--they were sold a pig in a poke. As far as jealousy--it's not jealousy, just anger that (especially in this recession) it is hard to get any support, funding, or sales for the visual arts at all, ie. for artists who don't sell their souls to the devil. People go around defending Kinkade and not supporting honest art. That's the source of anger.

I don't think anyone could ever do this particular scheme again on the scale that Kinkade did. He was in the right place at the right time for awhile. Of course now the products with his images are everywhere and it's just a commodity business. His legacy is in providing the world with an enormous supply of kitsch, which I don't have a problem with--IF it's not conflated to be more than it is. Some kitsch eventually gets to be collectible, although the way Kinkades glutted the world that won't happen anytime soon.

I see the Kinkade thing as a sociological phenomenon primarily. It's not about noble "art for the masses" vs elitism--that's just part of the mythology surrounding The Painter of Light.

Anyway thanx for your comments--

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #146)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 06:36 PM

151. The works are his design, but Chinese workers "painted them"

Marions Ghost explains it in more detail. I'll simplify it. The story is that people were sold works with the implication that they were original oils, when in fact they were basically well done paint-by-numbers works.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #141)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 06:40 PM

152. I'm not sure most thought of it as "art marketing"

I think many Kinkade buyers simply considered it collectible buying, and looked at it as an investment - albeit one they could show off to houseguests.

One thing I was taught about art buying long ago: if you can afford the piece, and you buy what you enjoy, in a sense, you can't overpay.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #152)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:13 PM

153. Your rule about buying art has some serious flaws...

I say this with all due respect, as I appreciate your posting this because a lot of people believe it.

It is partly true in the sense that re. art, "you should buy what you enjoy." BUT you CAN seriously overpay and this philosophy as an operating principle can get you badly scammed by unscrupulous dealers if you are not careful. Kinkade's products were misrepresented and grossly overpriced for what they were--reproductions touched up by factory workers. He capitalized on the fact that so many people are naive about the value of art. The appraisers and dealers in the established art world do not consider Kinkade to be an important artist--they consider him to be a shyster. Buyers of Kinkade reproductions would be correct in feeling burned. They may have so much money they can afford to throw it away, but these days most people are not so careless--they research before buying. This might mean asking an art expert what they think of Kinkade. You'd appraise a piece of antique furniture, wouldn't you? Curators at museums and art professors will give you their opinion free for the asking. If you have a dealer you trust, you can ask them too.

-----------------
About collectible buying--suggest you read this recent article which states a rule I do agree with:

..."Michaan would not be surprised to see Kinkade's originals, which are rarely on the market, appreciate but says, "I don't think there is any lasting value" in his reproductions. "A rule of thumb: Anything that is manufactured and marketed as a collectible really isn't."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/09/BUNK1O0VFQ.DTL#ixzz1rgFMcgbB

-----------------

Get it?--If you want your product to become a collectible that keeps its value, you don't manufacture and distribute it like Beanie Babies.

I am sympathetic to those who were ripped off by the Kinkade scam, unlike some in this discussion. Just as I am sympathetic to those who got into bad mortgages because everybody else was doing it. I am sympathetic to those people and worthy institutions who got ripped off by Bernie Madoff. There are few protections for consumers in America.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #153)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:45 PM

154. You shouldn't buy art with regard to value

You should know what you're buying. You should buy from reputable dealers.

Other than that - buy what you enjoy. If that's a Botero oil painting, a Dali litho, or a Leroy Nieman Femlin - fine. If you really like Kinkade's Daytona 500 print - fine. Just don't count on making money on what you purchase.

I'm also sympathetic to those who got scammed, but let's be honest: most of those buyers didn't love Kinkade's art; they wanted what they thought was a surefire investment, and they wanted a conversation piece.

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #154)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 09:47 AM

159. "they wanted a surefire investment"

--and if they had really done their homework before spending thousands they would not have bought.
You support my case that Kinkade enhanced reproductions were risky investments sold under false pretenses to buyers who trusted that his dealers were reputable. If we had anything like a real better business bureau or consumer advocacy agencies he would have been out of business.

"Most of these buyers didn't love Kinkades's art" -- I tend to agree. They might have liked it OK but it wasn't so much about the art as the sense of specialness and feeling like an art collector--they thought they were buying a status symbol. (But I would argue that a lot of buyers of good art do the same thing, they are just a lot savvier--that in and of itself does not make them deserving to be ripped off).

Just like volatile stocks, there will be dumping and there will be buying right now. Since none (NONE) of the originals are being sold now (they are in his museum)--the buyers of what is for sale of the vast body of retouched reproductions are throwing their money away, likely still believing they are a good investment.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:19 AM

142. Basically the angst falls like this

Subset a) Artsy types and wannabes who either genuinely or affectedly consider schmaltzy conformity in representational art to be beneath their sophisticated sensibilities no matter how competent the drawing skills.

Subset b) Elitists who resent populatity in any form. Budweiser must be a shit beer, McDonalds must be a shit burger, Celine Dion must be a shit singer, and of course Kinkade must be a shit artist. Only some obscure unheard of beer, burger, singer or artist is valid - until they too become popular

Subset c) Non-compartmentalizers who cannot enjoy the work of any person or organization that does not match their political ideals. Kinkade must be a bad artist because he is a right wing fundy who acted boorishly - just like Chuck Norris must be a terrible actor or karateka because he is too, and so on.

Subset d) Those who object to his production and business practices

To me they are in decreasing order of merit, assuming held honestly without pose or false-fronting.

I'm no art guru. I prefer representational conformity. But even I don't like it with syrupy glurgy effects and would never give his stuff in any form houseroom. But he could draw and paint with undeniable skill beyond the vast majority of humanity.

Budweiser is a shit beer, as are McDonalds shit burgers. Both are cheap, consistent and ubiquitous though. Celine Dion is a capable singer with terrible songs. Kinkade is a capable artist with terrible art. But lack of popularity does not equate to worth nor vice versa. Caruso was the first big recording star. Ellison Van Hoose wasn't. There is a reason for that. People who resent not being in on the "cool new secret" and who think any performer with an audience in triple digits has "sold out" and is now worthless need to grow up.

Wagner's reputation is exaggerated, but he was undeniably a misanthropic anti-semite. Beethoven was a tempestuously moody and violent serial adulterer (his reputation is not exaggerated - the opposite if anything). Milton was a despotic putritan who beat his children if they could not recite perfect Hebrew. All were also towering geniuses. Not even his greatest fans are likely to suggest Kinkade was one, but his skill does not change with his politics or amiability, and he's entitled to be judged on the skill - that's what he sold.

Anybody who did not know that a "high quality print on canvas" was not an original work is a blithering idiot. Anybody who thought they could buy an original work by a massively popular artist for a few hundred or even few thousand is worse. You could even flat out offer me an original Titian for $20000 right now and I'd laugh at you no matter how much authentication you offered. Emptors should damn well do more caveating - if these works were sold as too good to be true then it took a fool to buy.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #142)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:54 AM

144. Art 101

"drawing and painting with undeniable skill beyond the vast majority of humanity" = does not equate to being an artist at the highest level. It makes you an illustrator, an artist who has skills but not necessarily much creativity, no ability to rise above the level of illustrator.

I could teach you or anybody how to draw. It can be learned if you don't have physical problems. I could channel Bob Ross and teach you how to paint Kinkades, too.

----
Your attitude is really pompous towards the millions who bought Kinkade art --there must be a lot of "blithering
idiots" in America. I prefer to be charitable towards the victims (and maybe being told they were having a painting "created especially for them" has some kind of feel-good value that is worth money)--but basically what he did was rip people off in a big way, setting himself up to then market his brand everywhere and popularize his images on Hallmark cards etc --but his several hundred vanity galleries were in the business of scamming people, based on the lie that the paintings were originals by a highly talented artist.

"Artsy types" and "elitists" are continually slammed in America--and your post is a good example. This is where the anger comes from. This is why Kinkade is a controversial figure. This is the crux of the problem. So thanks for illustrating it so well.

Another thing--good art is not about "representation vs non-representational"--you're stuck in old dichotomies. Today anything goes. There are no preferred styles or forms--there is something for everybody...it's just what you do with it.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #144)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:35 AM

145. There ARE a lot of blithering idiots

Can you link to any of these "scam" ads where I or any literate person would not be able to tell we were buying reproductions?

Anything goes... but not Kinkade because he was just an illustrator? Is that an old dichotomy or a new one? Are realistic images not representational any more? Non-representational does not exist any more?

Funny - I get called artsy and elitist too in other art forms - I made no value statements about artsy types or elitists and am surely not angry with them. Some things are better aesthetically than others and some can tell the difference better than most. There is however both pretentiousness and real aesthetic discrimination in those groups - often in the same individual. I even agree with their typical assessment of Kinkade, as stated. The numerous hoaxes with chimps et al have shown their sensibilities to be fallible of course. Mine are too obviously, but I'm not claiming expertise here. I'm pretty damned sure I could spot a chimp's attempt at Dvorak's Cello Concerto compared to Rostropovich's though.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #145)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:34 PM

150. 1. I went to one of the Kinkade galleries once in the 90's--the line was deliberately blurred

between original and reproduction by calling it "a unique work of art" when somebody (not Kinkade) put a few extra dabs of paint on a reproduction.

2. Some illustrators are exceptional and their work is art (ie. Audubon but there are lots of more recent examples) --but demonstrating the basics of drawing does not make a person an artist. Is that clearer?

3. Kinkade's work is not in any way "realism." It is representational, but it is not realism as defined in art.

4. Re chimps--I am sure you couldn't tell the difference between an "original" Kinkade and a Chinese Kinkade knock-off. I am damn sure of that fact. And I am damn sure I couldn't tell the difference either.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #142)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:06 AM

155. +1

excellent analysis of the kincade hater psychosis.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #142)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:28 AM

157. I like your analysis

I don't think that most "..did not know that a "high quality print on canvas" was not an original work." I think most Kinkade buyers bought the works like others bought baseball cards or Hummel figurines. They wanted what they considered to be a sound investment (it was not) and they wanted a conversation starter -- which most actually did get, even if the conversation starts "My wife and I lost our asses on this Kinkade cottage painting."

Still, the money isn't lost until the day you sell for less than the purchase price. If you like the work, enjoy it.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:30 AM

143. What's the big deal? Either you like his work, or you don't...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There's no accounting for taste. etc etc. Some people love velvet paintings. I don't. That doesn't make me any better than those that do. I was given a 'Kincade' as a present (a lighthouse. I was a lighthouse keeper once) and it's in a box. I didn't care for it. But, I'm not going to denigrate those that like his work. What right do I have to do that? None. It's the same with any art form and that includes music.

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:00 PM

148. Allright now

All the snobs talking noise about TKs paintings, grab your cameras an post some snapshots of your work. If he was really that bad a painter, I'm sure y'all can dust him, right?

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 09:54 AM

162. Is your Thomas Kinkade Painting About to Increase in Value? (article)

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/04/11/is-your-thomas-kinkade-painting-about-to-increase-in-value/

--excerpt:

"While he was probably the most financially successful artist in the United States, the resale value of his works very, very limited," says Deborah Solon, an art historian who once participated in a symposium on Kinkade at New York University. "Most of what he did was in multiples; there are very few originals. Most were serigraphs or lithographs, and then sometimes he or somebody else would maybe hand color them, he would occasionally add a stroke or two, or he might sign them, but they were limited editions. Anything that's a print, that is done in multiple editions, inherently has less value than an original piece of art."

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