Monday, March 12, 2007

Back when I was teaching in FL, there was a time when I wanted to rally my students and organize a picketing of the local Thomas Kinkade gallery when it first opened up. The whole "this print of a real painting has dabs of actual paint applied by master highlighters and is selling for $1,000" concept was maddening, and, at the time, I was convinced that he would single-handedly do more to undermine the public's concept of "real art" than any shlockmeister who had gone before him. (but I can be an art-world pariah, because I still think that any painter who employs a factory, and whose work is selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars should have a stamp on the back of the paintings that says "concept by Famous Painter, actual painting by YYYY, YYYY and YYYY, unknown BFA students who are hoping to get a leg up in the art world through their painting skills because they can't afford the 'MFA at Columbia path' "). I digress. It seems that hollywood is going to make a movie based on Thomas Kinkade's life and "art". Sigh.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Sarah P said...

The Husband gave me a Thomas Kinkade calendar for Christmas (he was able to hold the sincere "do you like it???" expression for about 10 seconds before laughing...all just to see my response). Later, I actually looked at Kinkade's pictures - add some body parts laying about those cobblestones or some dangling carcasses of meat from the rafters and he could be THE NY darling for his stylish irony meets kitsch. His work is tantamount to Celine Dion - a perfection of sorts, but truly fluff. I can see why folks like it, as it is pretty and offers no challenge or further contemplation and it sure does look nice as a nightlight or a coffee mug.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I had an ex-boyfriend's mother give me a Kinkade jewelry box a few years back. You are right about how the right subversive elements would make him a contender in the art world. I think in the Tuesday post (above), if you follow the David Byrne link and go through his Art Basel slideshow of work, there is an artist who paints over found kitschy landscapes.
I also read somewhere that someone compared Kinkade to Jeff Koons in terms of "giving people what they want".

1:19 PM  

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