Jump to content


Photo

Thomas Kinkade


  • Please log in to reply
112 replies to this topic

#41 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:14 PM

QUOTE(Alan Thomas @ Aug 30 2006, 04:45 PM) View Post


Just heard something similar on NPR.

Sad. But I can't say I'm surprised. The NPR story cites his drunkeness and an instance of grabbing a woman's breast, which has been mentioned already in this thread.

Is he the next televangelist of the art world? pinch.gif

Edited by Chashab, 30 August 2006 - 06:14 PM.


#42 mrmando

mrmando

    Lassie, the Barbarian Musical Thinker

  • Member
  • 3,636 posts

Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:59 PM

So people don't buy Kinkade prints. Gallery owners do. And only under coercion. What a racket.

Edited by mrmando, 30 August 2006 - 08:00 PM.


#43 yank_eh

yank_eh

    Member

  • Member
  • 388 posts

Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:44 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

#44 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:48 AM

QUOTE(yank_eh @ Aug 31 2006, 12:44 AM) View Post

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


Last night my wife pointed out how much of a snob I've been about putting Kinkade down in the past . . . put my foot in my mouth several times. I knew this, and we had a really good discussion about it (me being a snob, as much as Kinkade's painting tongue.gif ).

:Edit: I've changed my tune in the last couple of years, and not just about his stuff, but about all visual art in general. I (think) I'm coming to realize how much more mysterious so many things are, perhaps art in particular. Since high school, I've realized that the more I learn the less I know — I quote Is 55, "Your ways are higher than our ways," regularly. :Edit:

You're very correct about the smugness only being detrimental. I wondered in our conversation last night now I came to be such a snob (verbally disecting my college experience, remembering that I wasn't that way in high school) . . .

The book looks very interesting. I'm adding it to my wish list.

Edited by Chashab, 31 August 2006 - 08:04 AM.


#45 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE(Alan Thomas @ Aug 31 2006, 08:12 AM) View Post

One of my church's pastors critiqued Kincade from the pulpit, basically saying that real life isn't all butterflies and waterfalls. We dwell in a land with shadows. Real life has shadows and real art should reflect that.

It was a good week. smile.gif


This is a common saying among Christian writers addressing the arts of late — and they're right.

But even I allow Kinkade the freedom to paint whatever subject matter he likes. An artist has this perogative. And there is also something to be said for Xians to aspire to an ideal we know once was (Eden) and will be again (the New Earth), even though we don't really have enough details to put that on paper. We don't have enough details to make paintings of Jesus likeness, but we do it anyway (maybe not the best example for my argument, but what came to mind). My speculation however, as I think I mentioned earlier in this thread, is that Kinkade has at times retreated into his idyllic settings in order to cover up some bad experiences in the past. If ever I had the chance to ask him just one question, I would as him if this were the case — if he has ever thought about it that way.

My wife, who (as I mentioned in the "Depression" thread) is prone to feeling down, likes the idea of being able to retreat into an ideal of waterfalls and butterflies. She needs that sometimes, she said, and I don't. This is true.

#46 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:56 AM

QUOTE(Alan Thomas @ Aug 31 2006, 08:40 AM) View Post

Art as therapy?


Are you referring to how Kinkade is using his painting, or how my wife views Kinkade's paintings?

I honestly don't know anything about how art is used as therapy (other than that it is), and I don't think that's what my wife was meaning. But I can understand how you would think that. And FWIW, she finds it dorky some of how he markets the stuff, how he has his underlings add little tiny (acutely prescribed, it would seem) dabs of paint to the prints and then sells them for thousands more than the untouched prints — as though they were originals or something.

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

As an artist myself, I CANNOT ignore the fallen nature of the world around me. I like to think that I take the time to observe my surroundings somewhat carefully, and it won't take long (from a Xian or non-Xian perspective) for anyone else who does this to realize there is much wrong, corrupt, perverse in every culture, in every human (as much as we all try and cover it up in ourselves).

I don't know if Kinkade does not observe the world around him, or if he chooses to ignore it. It seems to me he chooses to ignore it, because I don't (personally) know how an artist (using my own definition) can do that completely. I would think it would have to come out in his work somehow — UNLESS his process is entirely driven by his craft.

Granted, as I (somewhat vaguely) recall some of Kinkade's earlier work, it was occasionally permeated with darker themes. Maybe he has not returned to such simply because he has found a formula that sells???

#47 anglicanbeachparty

anglicanbeachparty

    Member

  • Member
  • 231 posts

Posted 01 September 2006 - 12:07 PM

Wow, this is a great thread -- probably my personal favourite on A&F. I am disappointed in myself for only just now finding it.

I found it interesting that (in the interview Christian did with him), Kinkade mentions Maxfield Parrish. The comparison will help me a lot, I reckon, in clarifying my own thinking. I want to think about why it is that I loathe Kinkade's work, but admire the work of Parrish. Part of it is simply technique, of course, but there is more hiding in this question than I can currently put a finger on.

Incidentally, I find that the writing of Jan Karon produces the identical effect upon me as the paintings of Kinkade. After reading two of Karon's Mitford books, I very nearly penned a spoof: Biker Chicks Invade Mitford. As far as I can tell, it is not because of a "part of me that rankles at the thought of goodness and purity" (see Post #6 in this thread, by CrimsonLIne), but rather that there is actually something better, weightier, more glorious, and more substantial about a gang of motorcycle girls ... than there is in anything in Mitford, be it ever so holy.

#48 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 01 September 2006 - 12:53 PM

QUOTE(anglicanbeachparty @ Sep 1 2006, 12:07 PM) View Post
I found it interesting that (in the interview Christian did with him), Kinkade mentions Maxfield Parrish.


blink.gif Kinkade said that??? blink.gif

I didn't read the entire interview when I first came across this thread in April. Hmmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Parrish was an influence on Kinkade?

Yes. Yes, I can see that. In high school and college I loved Parrish's work. In fact I still very much admire it. What Kinkade does, um, could be influenced by Parrish. Of course, just because Kinkade is influenced by Parrish doesn't mean it HAS to come out in Kinkade's paintings either. But one could certainly make a case that it does.

Let's compare and contrast the two (this excercise is for me as much as anyone else here, but feel free to chime in!):

* We very rarely find figures or people in modern Kinkades. Parrish's works, at least 75% of them that I can remember, have people in them.

* When Parrish uses architectural or building elements, they are usually on a more human scale — that is, they are more integrated into the surface of the painting.

* While Kinkade's work does certainly have a sense of intimacy about it, Parrish's has much more of this sense. This could be because of his use of figures (and a number of them being nude — yet not erotic — certainly ads to a certain kind of a sense of intimacy.

* Parrish's work is much more whimsical. His colors, the settings and the subject matter are more fantastical — although not unbelievable. Some may border on the surreal, although I don't think I'd "officially" call any of them that I know of such. For as long as I can remember, I've found Parish's paintings a bit entrancing (Escapist? Hmmm.).

Adding: link

Edited by Chashab, 01 September 2006 - 12:58 PM.


#49 anglicanbeachparty

anglicanbeachparty

    Member

  • Member
  • 231 posts

Posted 01 September 2006 - 01:20 PM

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).

#50 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 01 September 2006 - 01:31 PM

QUOTE(anglicanbeachparty @ Sep 1 2006, 01:20 PM) View Post

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).


Yeah, a few years ago my wife and I paged through a book of his in a gallery, and were very surprised to see some of his early work. We both like it better; in my case, I like it, where his present stuff comes across as the visual equivelant of greeting card verse, as the article you link to calls it. His craft is still good, but it seems that some of the imagination has gone by the wayside???

But like I said previously, I don't feel like I have the right to critique subject matter. I don't have time to read your link now (man it's long) but printed it off and look forward to reading it tonight.

Edited by Chashab, 01 September 2006 - 01:42 PM.


#51 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 01 September 2006 - 01:46 PM

QUOTE(nardis @ Sep 1 2006, 01:42 PM) View Post

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.

#52 jfutral

jfutral

    Member

  • Member
  • 274 posts

Posted 01 September 2006 - 05:07 PM

QUOTE(yank_eh @ Aug 31 2006, 01:44 AM) View Post

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

#53 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 01 September 2006 - 10:16 PM

QUOTE(anglicanbeachparty @ Sep 1 2006, 01:20 PM) View Post

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 dry.gif

I found most interesting this section:

QUOTE
Kinkade justifies the absence of people in his picturesque scenarios because he doesn’t want to exclude any viewers from being able to step into the fantasy. "When you paint people, you limit people," Kinkade explains, offering the example of a hypothetical Vietnamese-American family. "Why would they want to look at a picture of a dozen white people sitting around a Thanksgiving table?"

What the artist fails to understand is that Vietnamese-Americans (as well as African-, Mexican-, Chinese, and other hyphenated Americans) probably do not share the Anglo-American cottage fantasy. And his cottage scenes are precisely that: fantasies. Adults hang paintings of Kinkade’s paintings of cottages in their living room for the same reason that little girls put posters of unicorns and rainbows on their bedroom walls. It is a pseudo-referential nostalgia, a longing for what does not exist in reality but exists in the fantasy realm of possibility.


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 — thinking now of Christian's interview where he talks about "highly personal forms of expression."

As Christian noted, the interview does show Kinkade to be quite articulate. But some things that caught my eye were:

QUOTE
It would be like a writer who typed randomly at the keyboard for twelve hours and said, "I've just created a great novel." It may be an interesting work of literature in some abstract way, but it certainly won't be a best-seller and certainly won't touch a lot of peoples' lives.


This just made me think of One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest.

And also when he says:

QUOTE
If you meditate on chaos and despair, sooner or later you begin to see the world that way.


Um, the world is that way. Unless you go to Joel Osteen's church.

That's as much as I'm going to say. I don't have a taste for my own foot this evening.


#54 Peter T Chattaway

Peter T Chattaway

    He's fictional, but you can't have everything.

  • Member
  • 29,648 posts

Posted 02 September 2006 - 02:51 AM

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.

#55 CrimsonLine

CrimsonLine

    Man of Yesterday

  • Member
  • 1,987 posts

Posted 02 September 2006 - 06:41 AM

QUOTE(Chashab @ Sep 1 2006, 11:16 PM) View Post

QUOTE(anglicanbeachparty @ Sep 1 2006, 01:20 PM) View Post

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 dry.gif

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

#56 Chashab

Chashab

    Member

  • Member
  • 541 posts

Posted 02 September 2006 - 07:41 AM

QUOTE(Peter T Chattaway @ Sep 2 2006, 02:51 AM) View Post

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, 02 September 2006 - 07:42 AM.


#57 anglicanbeachparty

anglicanbeachparty

    Member

  • Member
  • 231 posts

Posted 02 September 2006 - 08:59 AM

QUOTE(Peter T Chattaway @ Sep 2 2006, 03:51 AM) View Post

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.

#58 anglicanbeachparty

anglicanbeachparty

    Member

  • Member
  • 231 posts

Posted 02 September 2006 - 09:11 AM

QUOTE(Chashab @ Sep 1 2006, 11:16 PM) View Post

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 — thinking now of Christian's interview where he talks about "highly personal forms of expression."

I agree with you! One of the "messiest" truths about God's creation is people. It seems that much of the "peace and light" that fill Kinkade's paintings is due to the absence of people. Here is what someone named Jim Blanchard thought a Kinkade painting would look like if you added the humanity back in.

QUOTE
It would be like a writer who typed randomly at the keyboard for twelve hours and said, "I've just created a great novel." It may be an interesting work of literature in some abstract way, but it certainly won't be a best-seller and certainly won't touch a lot of peoples' lives.

I think this is the crux of it. Kinkade's paintings may have less artistic merit than those of other artists. But nobody can say they are not best-sellers! I think that is his prime motivation. His formula has worked, if money is the metric of success.

#59 Peter T Chattaway

Peter T Chattaway

    He's fictional, but you can't have everything.

  • Member
  • 29,648 posts

Posted 02 September 2006 - 01:18 PM

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.

#60 TexasWill

TexasWill

    Easy Black Russian Terror Suspect

  • Member
  • 639 posts

Posted 19 October 2006 - 12:34 PM

"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