Thomas Kinkade's death

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Apr 8, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,876
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I also posted this question to my Facebook friends.

    I think yesterday was in day interesting day in the world of art. Thomas Kinkade died. I'm wondering how art historians will view his work 50 years from now? Will his art be viewed and an artifact of fine art or just an artifact of American consumerism and American taste? Is he just a misunderstood artist and it will take time for current art institutions to come around and appreciate his contribution to the world of art? :confused:
     
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,867
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think he'll always remain the Anne Geddes of landscape painters.
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,577
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm wondering how their attitudes toward his art change 10 years from now.
     
  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,204
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    That will depend on if the family maintains the galleries and follows the same sort of marketing plan as the family of Galen Rowell. Sell the backlog of "originals", then make inkjet reproductions ad nauseam...

    If the family does, then I do not foresee any attitude change in the near or distant future.

    Vaughn
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's easily, perhaps justifiably,rejected as kitsch. Still, people who like his work are usually effusive about what they like about it. That, to me, shows a willingness to think about and analyze graphic art if only in highly personal terms. The trick is to move them along to looking things that are more ambiguous, abstract and challenging.
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,577
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Could be... or it could stay the same even if his family does nothing at all. Attitudes are fairly well established by artists, art critics, and art buyers... and those attitudes seem to be very different. For the millions of people with his work over their couches I suspect that art will stay in place for quite a while. I wonder more about the "value" in the secondary market and how that will change. I doubt it will soar soon, if ever.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,204
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Brian, my thought was that some of the negative attitude (but not all of course) was due to jealousy and distaste for his marketing plan (and its success). After all, how dare someone make a bunch of money outside of the established art circles!
     
  8. MDR

    MDR Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Austria
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I personally don't like his work but in all honesty he is one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. His work might not be sold in high art galleries but a lot of his work is hanging in living rooms making people smile or feel good. His work says more about the public art taste of 20th and early 21st century than any work by any other contemporary artist save Anne Geddes. Art critics and artist might dislike him but he created art for the masses as opposed to art for a few.

    Dominik
     
  9. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I didn't know that you could look at, or be affected by, art in any other way.

    Herding cats. Cats with thick wallets. As mentioned upthread, his popularity does say a lot about American culture, and I'm dismayed by the message. (Poster gets points for making me retch with "Anne Geddes". Good work.)


    s-a
     
  10. achromat

    achromat Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2012
  11. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Montréal (QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is the weirdest thing; not a month ago I had a conference by Neil McWilliam (a professor at Duke) on Kinkade, in one of my PhD seminars.

    He just got interested by Kinkade, since when you're doing the social history of art, this is pretty much the most interesting subject you can have. Best-seller, crazy pricing scheme, dubious sales tactics, public urination, the works!

    Most people tend to forget that studying art also eventually requires one to look at something else than good art. Bad art is the dark matter of Art History: invisible, yet skewing its gravitational field.

    Oh, and I'll be the first to wager that Kinkade's not dead: he just found a way to sell his wares for more money:
    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area...homas-kinkades-tumultuous-final-years-surface

    Christian painter dies during Easter? I don't know...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2012
  12. Michael W

    Michael W Member

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd say he's pretty much unknown outside the USA. I only became aware of him in recent times. It was also quite recently that I read about another very successful business that sells little model houses covered in snow. Both seem to be tapping into the same nostalgic fantasy.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    when i saw that he died i knew there was going to be a RUN on his galleries.
    over the years, his work has really made me think about art and commerce,
    and there really doesn't seem to be much of a difference between the two.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Anne Geddes, William Wegman and (the late) Thomas Kinkade are all "artists" in the same vein. Populist schlock masquerading as art. Well marketed schlock, but schlock nonetheless. They all are (or in Kinkade's case, were) technically proficient, but there's really no "soul" in any the work they've done.

    Except that Anne Geddes isn't necessarily an American phenomenon. She's an Aussie living and working in New Zealand. Schlock is an international phenomenon.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    so if "art" is purchased and liked by millions it is schlock,
    because it has commercial appeal ?

    i am not sure why ansel adams isn't put in the same basket as geddes, wegman and kinkade
    he "sold-out" as much as they did and i see just as much "soul" in their work as in his ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2012
  17. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    616
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Rogers, AR
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Adams work isn't kitsch and is tasteful. Kinkade's paintings look like badly done HDR photos put into a blender with fairy dust and oil paint. They are way over the top in theme. To compare himself to master artists is a crime. People speak of his realistic style, however, there is nothing realistic about his style at all and it certainly does not resemble what is known as realism.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i don't see that kinkade is any less of an artist than adams ... maybe more-so ...
    adams was a technical photographer, he photographed scenes infront of him and manipulated
    the film and paper to create his photographs, kinkade used his imagination and created from scratch
    with brushes and paints ...

    both are heavily commercialized, owned by tens of millions of people turned in to puzzles, cards, calenders &c
    you don't think heavy manipulation and filtration is the same thing as putting in a blender with fairy dust and oil paint ?

    adams was just as over the top in many ways as you claim kinkade to be, the only difference is
    that adams is canonized as "one of the patron saints of black and white photography" and no one dare say anything bad about him ...
    and kinkade is an easy target because he had hundreds of retail shops in malls, instead of selling originals he sold affordable prints, and
    he didn't pay 50% commission to a gallery owner ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2012
  19. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To each their own I suppose.

    I think there's a vast distance between what Ansel did versus what Kinkade and Co. have done. Much of Ansel "as a commodity" came later in his career and even more after his death. I'm sure that Geddes and Wegman really do put forward a product that they tend feel good about, so at least there's a certain earnestness to it. Do I think they put out schlock? Yes, though it may be high quality schlock. Kinkade is another order of magnitude though. A raging drunk, a fraud (look into the history of his gallery franchises) and a purveyor of schlock. I think that Geddes and Wegman have it in them produce work of higher caliber. I don't think that the same could be said of Kinkade (were he still alive).

    In the end, even if millions of people buy and like something it can still be schlock. How many people bought and liked the "Velvet Elvis" paintings? If that isn't schlock I don't know what is.
     
  20. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,204
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Kinkade = Adams? I have heard of stranger things, but not in a long while...LOL!

    To each their own opinion!
     
  21. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And just to put a fine point on it...

    I'm not saying that it's the quantity that makes it schlock. It's the quality.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    good points ...

    i wish i had a"velvis", maybe a sad clown or two AND velvet dogs painting poker ...
    better yet, i wish i had dogs trained to play poker ,,,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkB9OT2XVvA
     
  23. Gadfly_71

    Gadfly_71 Subscriber

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Funny you mention clowns. A late family member of mine (a cousin a couple of times removed) was "famous" for his paintings of clowns. I found them terrifying. :cool:
     
  24. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    616
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Rogers, AR
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Actually, Adams work is much more in the vein of 19th century landscape painting. It could very easily fit into the aesthetic of the sublime resembling the dramatic works of JMW Turner and Caspar David Friedrich. There is great difference between these artists (including Adams), and Thomas Kinkade. Even his nickname "the painter of light" was attributed to Turner long before Kinkade came along.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2012
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,811
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    i'm not talking about the style of photography, but the actual part of making it ...
    it doesn't matter to me what school of painting you claim he is able to become part of because of his "sublime landscapes".
    some of the greatest copyists were great artists, even the people that fill in the dots in a lichtenstien painting or those who do coloring of
    animation cells ... all artists ... but can they fit into a "style" ? ... style means nothing ...

    kinkade created on a canvas with brushes and paints,
    adams manipulated through technical means film and paper ...

    i wouldn't say that kinkade wasn't an artist or that it is a crime to compare one to the other ... kinkade created things from a blank canvas,
    adams interpreted his negative ... to me there is a big difference.

    its obvious that you don't like kinkade for whatever reasons you have ...
    but adams is pretty much the photographic version of kinkade as far as i am concerned ...
    commercialized to the core, and even now, almost 30years after his death people are buying
    posters of his landsacapes the same way people buy posters of kinkade's paintings ...
    it wouldn't surprise me if the same people that buy kinkade's paintings also have posters of ansel adams on a wall in a different room.
     
  26. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

    Messages:
    616
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Rogers, AR
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Adams certainly knew how to market himself much as Kinkade did, I will not contest this. You said something about Adams posters. Though they do exist online I have yet to see Ansel Adams coffee mugs, puzzles, mousepads and decorative plates in any brick and mortar stores or on the Ansel Adams gallery site. However, I have seen Kinkade on all these things pretty much everywhere that sells home decor. This is why his work can be described as kitsch based on his marketing alone regardless of his style. However, it is no doubt that Adams work has become over commercialized nearly to the extent of Kinkade. Perhaps, if Adams had lived in the 1990s and the 2000s, his story would be very much the same.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.