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Thomas Kinkade

112 posts in this topic

I don't want to weigh in on this right now (if at all!) . . .

I understand this sentiment . . . as I mentioned in a previous post, I want to keep from putting my foot in my mouth in such a dolt like fashion as I've done in the past.

It's really amazing how charged the subject of Kinkade can be. This could be worth a dissertation in and of itself.

I've been trying to be more fair and objective over the past couple of years with respect to Kinkade. I really wish I could sit down with the guy like Christian did . . . which reminds me, I need to go back and read that interview in full.

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Since Kinkade is synonymous with Christian kitsch I thought I'd recommend an excellent book dealing with the topic. It is all too easy to sweep aside this sort of art--which I agree is aesthetically and often theologically horrific--with a smug attitude that does nothing to improve the situation.

Check it out

Hey cool! I was just in New York City for four weeks and got to participate in the IAM-NY Wednesday Tribakery Fellowship and they were using this book (for 15 weeks so far!) as the focus of the discussion. That drove a lot of my comments on kitsch in the "Transcendence in art" thread (or whatever it was called).

While I wouldn't go so far as this author did and call all kitsch lying, I do find something dishonest about Kinkade's work, or at least his later stuff. Other than some postings here I haven't seen much of his early stuff. I can't put my finger on it, but at least pornography doesn't pretend to be something it isn't.

I heard someone else in another forum talking about a recent conversation in a Christian school concering art to be taught in the arts teaching spot to be filled. The point was brought up that they should only teach Christian art. When the person asked what is Christian art three teachers and a principal voiced almost in unison, Kinkade. A year later, sure enough the class room was producing mini-Kinkades.

This worries me. As a Christian working in the arts I was just beginning to have hope, then to hear this. It's almost enough to drive me to discouragement and depression again. I would have liked to at least heard them say something like, oh I don't know, Vermeer. Good grief, even Charles Schultz.

All the same, the book makes some good points from the pull quotes we used in the discussions. My notes from the meetings went something like this:

Of the questions asked these two I found the most intriguing [at the first meeting I made it to]:

Is this sentimentality in the church only or in all of culture?

and

How do we bring the hunger for beauty back into our culture and therefore back into the Gospel?

I find the first question interesting because this is the first direct acknowledgement of "kitsch" and sentimentality in church that I have heard. I have heard the potential discussed, but never the direct accusation of the church participating in kitsch.

And the second question is interesting to me because of the premise that beauty, even possibly intrinsically, belongs in the culture and is connected to and affects the Gospel.

Joe

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For what it's worth, I found this site to have a very useful analysis of Kinkade's paintings, including links to some of his works with which I was formerly unfamiliar. It contrasts Kinkade's earlier (and I think, better) paintings with the later ones (which made him much more money).

So I read the piece, but not all of the comments. Geez, wish I had that kind of interaction on my blog <_<

I found most interesting this section:

Kinkade justifies the absence of people in his picturesque scenarios because he doesn

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Chashab wrote:

: Food for thought: What will art be like on the New Earth, when there aren't shadows?

Will there even BE art in the New Earth? Will there be a NEED for it any more? C.S. Lewis, in The Great Divorce, suggests there won't be, IIRC.

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For what it's worth, I found this site to have a very useful analysis of Kinkade's paintings, including links to some of his works with which I was formerly unfamiliar. It contrasts Kinkade's earlier (and I think, better) paintings with the later ones (which made him much more money).

So I read the piece, but not all of the comments. Geez, wish I had that kind of interaction on my blog <_<

I read evangelical outpost daily. It's a great blog, and gets a huge response.

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Chashab wrote:

: Food for thought: What will art be like on the New Earth, when there aren't shadows?

Will there even BE art in the New Earth? Will there be a NEED for it any more? C.S. Lewis, in The Great Divorce, suggests there won't be, IIRC.

Randy Alcorn in his book Heaven is very much convinced otherwise, that we will have all kinds of elements of culture, including art, on the new earth (Heaven). There's very little I disagree with in Alcorn's theology, although I can't ever recall disagreeing with Lewis either. I haven't read all of either author, but I've read quite a bit of both.

The Great Divorce is one I haven't read, however. You've got me interested now!

Edit: spelling

Edited by Chashab

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Will there even BE art in the New Earth? Will there be a NEED for it any more? C.S. Lewis, in The Great Divorce, suggests there won't be, IIRC.

Of course I cannot be sure that C. S. Lewis is correct about the New Earth, but I believe (Peter) that you have incorrectly remembered what he wrote in The Great Divorce.

There is this, from Chapter 9: (The Ghost of the artist is speaking first; he is answered by the Spirit.)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + ++ +

"Then there's never going to be any point in painting here?"

"I don't say that. When you've grown into a Person (it's all right, we all had to do it) there'll be some things which you'll see better than anyone else. One of the things you'll want to do will be to tell us about them. But not yet. At present your business is to see. Come and see. He is endless. Come and feel."

There was a little pause. "That will be delightful," said the Ghost presently in a rather dull voice.

"Come, then," said the Spirit, offering it his arm.

"How soon do you think I could begin painting?" it asked.

The Spirit broke into laughter. "Don't you see you'll never paint at all if that's what you're thinking about?" he said.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + ++ +

So, in Lewis' vision of the New Earth, there may well be painting. What he seemed to prohibit was painting for painting's sake, and also painting for any selfish reasons of the artist.

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I really don't follow Kinkades reasoning of "When you paint people, you limit people." Seems to me the complete opposite is true, but then maybe he is inferring more of himself in his work than he thinks he his

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anglicanbeachparty wrote:

: Of course I cannot be sure that C. S. Lewis is correct about the New Earth, but I believe (Peter) that

: you have incorrectly remembered what he wrote in The Great Divorce.

Ah, right, thanks for the quote -- that does sound more familiar.

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"Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade is being accused of hoodwinking investors and leaving them in the dark. After arbiters awarded two former Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery owners $860,000 this year, other former dealers have filed claims that accuse Kinkade of using his Christian faith to defraud them.

Gallery of Accusations

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"Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade is being accused of hoodwinking investors and leaving them in the dark. After arbiters awarded two former Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery owners $860,000 this year, other former dealers have filed claims that accuse Kinkade of using his Christian faith to defraud them.

Gallery of Accusations

Weird that CT's just getting onto a story that's been around for almost 2 months...

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popechild wrote:

: Weird that CT's just getting onto a story that's been around for almost 2 months...

Just a guess, but it's possible this story was written for the magazine, which has a long-ish lead time, and the story is only going online NOW because the magazine is out ...

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The lady and I ...admiring some Kincade.

And then there was the mail I recieved the other week. Thomas Kincade himself offered me a limited-time, charter member edition, special-offer, Kincade-designed, Christmas-themed, die-cast model train set! And 10 feet of track for FREE. Oh yes...it was glossy.

How did he ever come by my address?

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The lady and I ...admiring some Kincade.

And then there was the mail I recieved the other week. Thomas Kincade himself offered me a limited-time, charter member edition, special-offer, Kincade-designed, Christmas-themed, die-cast model train set! And 10 feet of track for FREE. Oh yes...it was glossy.

How did he ever come by my address?

About to put my foot in my mouth yet again:

Who buys those things??? I have enough dust collecting "collectables" already and I haven't tried to come by them!

Adding: Fun photograph!

Edited by Chashab

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Lynn Aldrich, in reviewing Betty Spackman's Christians and Kitsch, had this to say of Spackman's treatment of Kinkade's work:

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Link to the thread on Kinkade's feature film The Christmas Cottage.

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Don't miss this. Thomas Kinkade's Experimental Period Here's a taste:

Hometown at Suppertime

Kinkade chose the Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery in the Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana, for his first full-scale installation piece. Having emptied the store of merchandise, Kinkade painted every surface an even white and covered it in petroleum jelly. Then, using a series of high-powered projectors, Kinkade bathed the gallery in a re-creation of dusk in one of his picturesque hometowns where every window glowed with the warmth of friends and family.

In the middle of the store, he set a barrel of trash on fire. Dressed in a tailored three-piece suit, Kinkade sat down next to the barrel with a bottle of cinnamon schnapps and drank himself into a stupor. As curious patrons wandered in, he cajoled them for spare change and repeatedly yelled, "Get over yourself, hotshot!" By the time police shut the store down and arrested Kinkade, the artist had made $1.29, mostly in warm pennies and nickels.

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Weird. I just stumbled upon McSweeney's yesterday for the first time in years. Geez, there's some funny stuff there.

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Yes, like this.

Dale

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Animator Ralph Bakshi on Why 'American Pop' Ended With a Lame Bob Seger Song

You mentored Ren and Stimpy's John Kricfalusi. But we can never forgive you for giving Thomas Kinkade his big break.

That son of a bitch! Kinkade was the coolest. If Kinkade wasn't a painter, he'd be one of those cult leaders. Kinkade came into my office with James Gurney when I was looking for background artists [for Fire and Ice]. He's a good painter, and he did a spiel. He made all these deals. How he went out and did what he did is beyond my understanding now. He's very, very talented, and he

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First Things on Kinkade.

I liked to this on Facebook, and a Kinkade defender showed up to nay-say the nay-sayers.

Reminds me of Greg Wolfe's editorial: The Painter of Liteā„¢

Edited by Overstreet

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Jeffrey thanks for the links.

I feel so perplexed by the comments following the First Things posts . In particular the comment "I stopped trusting the New York art community when they insisted that Jackson Pollock had something valuable to say with his splattered canvases."

This is to me heartbreaking. Pollock was a 4 page feature in Life magazine in 1949. Pollock's first critical notice was in Art News during a show at the McMillan gallery in New York that ended in February 1942.

This is a period covering 7 decades, the period in which Art in the United States became ascendant. The entire second half of the 20th Century.

It seems to me that Kinkade lies like a well lit fence along the dividing line in the culture wars. It might be because I keep running into people that insist the "cultural elite" are ruining the country, I am not sure, but if we disregard the opinions of knowledgeable professionals because we don't like what they are telling us, where do we go?

We don't seem to have the same issue with engineering and mathematics and they are as mysterious to the uninitiated.

Perhaps as our idea of facts and reality become increasingly maleable it is reassuring to have Thomas Kincade producing vibrant and reassuring pictures.

Edited by draper

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draper wrote:

: We don't seem to have the same issue with engineering and mathematics and they are as mysterious to the uninitiated.

But engineering and mathematics give us cell phones and DVD players and they seem to "work" in general. They make a difference -- and a positive one, at that -- in the lives of the uninitiated. Whereas it is presumably not clear to the uninitiated how anyone's opinion of a bunch of dots splattered on a canvas is supposed to "work". What difference do those dots, or those opinions, make, and to whom?

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Kincade seems to work like an engineer or a mathmetician, in fact. He employs his technique to sell things. Same as most engineers. A few work in academia. Perhaps you could consider them similar to the art establishment. But for the most part, engineers and mathmeticians make things to sell so that they can earn an income to feed their families and maybe buy a second home on a lake in the Carolinas. We don't listen to the ones in academia--yet. In twenty years, when you're no longer using copper wires in the walls of your house to power your lights, you will be listening to them. Then there will be other ones in academia that you won't be listening too.

How is this different from the aesthetic vs commericial art establishments?

Edited by Buckeye Jones

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