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:
"Today has been unbelievable," said Richard Smith, who owns Kinkade Signature galleries in Pismo Beach and Solvang on the central coast. "It's sad. I can't control what happens in life, but as far as sales go, this has been our biggest selling day in history, and I've been running galleries for 20 years."
Christian painter dies during Easter? I don't know...
Last edited by Michel Hardy-Vallée; 04-08-2012 at 08:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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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.
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.
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.
I had to revisit Anne Geddes's work. This stuff says a lot about America's taste in "Art".
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 jnanian; 04-08-2012 at 10:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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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.
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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 jnanian; 04-08-2012 at 11:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
To each their own I suppose.
Originally Posted by jnanian
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.
Kinkade = Adams? I have heard of stranger things, but not in a long while...LOL!
To each their own opinion!
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can be a good day of exercise.
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.