A Criticism Of Kinkade

In doing some reading about Thomas Kinkade , I found this critique of his work. I thoroughly enjoyed this critique because it gave voice to some of the feelings that I’ve had about his work. While most critiques start off with “he is a schlock artist” and go down from there, this critical review from First Things is a fair review and gives some contrasts between his earlier work and later work.

“How did Christian art go from Rembrandt to Kinkade?” I asked, knowing full well any criticism of Thomas Kinkade, the self-proclaimed (and trademarked) Painter of Light™, would lead to howls of protest.  Kinkade is, as his website proclaims, “America’s most collected living artist.” He has sold over ten million works and his art or licensed product, which includes wallpaper, tableware, stationary, and La-Z-Boy chairs and sofas, is estimated to be in one in ten homes in the U.S. He has even “inspired” a novel (Cape Light), a TV-movie (“Home for Christmas”) and planned communities (“The Gates of Coeur d’Alene” in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “The Village at Hiddenbrooke,” outside of San Francisco, et al.). His admirers are legion, especially among evangelical Christians.

Really excellent review.Read the rest of the review here at First Things

Published in: on 06/20/2010 at 12:30 pm  Comments (1)  
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Believing Your Own PR

Recently, I came across this picture at Jesus Need New PR

I found it a little humorous. I don’t like Thomas Kinkade’s work. I find it to be formulaic and a little too commercial for my taste. Although, there are many people who really like his work (including my mother). Kinkade has cultivated a distinctly Christian audience. An audience who wants nice pictures to hang in their house. An audience who would not be caught dead in any type of modern art gallery.

Kinkade’s world started to unravel a few years ago. His business practices were brought into question by those  who bought gallery franchises to sell his work. There were other stories about drinking and some rather rude behavior.and ultimately bankruptcy for part of his operations.

Although there is a part of me who would like to gloat about his failure and fall. I really dislike his work intensely. I think there is a real lesson to be learned. Thomas Kinkade believed his own PR. He lacked humility. For all of us who are in some type of creative work. Whether it’s writing, painting, photography, or even creating sermons , we need to keep our perspective and stay humble. The slightly modified Kinkade image is an excellent reminder of what can happen if we don’t keep our gaze where it belongs…on Jesus.

Published in: on 06/19/2010 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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