QUOTE(yank_eh @ Aug 31 2006, 01:44 AM)
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?
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.