Friday, December 3, 2010

Thomas Kinkade (unfortunately) Still Weathering the Storm.

c. David Grim (taken 11/21/10)

I've made it through most of the years of this century without commenting on the "art" of Thomas Kinkade. I never really had anything to add to the discussion. The guy has made thousands of paintings and prints and calendars and greeting cards and coffee mugs. Perhaps all you ever really need to know about him is that his images are estimated to be within 1 of every 20 homes in this nation. That's simply an insane incrimination about cultural appreciation in the Unites States, but there is no avoiding the love that some have for the "Painter of Light".

What I didn't know until quite recently was that Kinkade bakes the sweet shining light of Jesus Christ into each one of his ever-loving creations. So actually one could say that he is doing the work of God himself. Now that's impressive when someone like Howard Finster makes the claim, but it's a whole 'nother ball game when we're talking about an entrepreneurial force like Kinkade. No doubt he has gotten quite rich by depicting the rich tones of the Holy Spirit. Anyway, it's quite clear that the "coziness" that his collectors feel when viewing his work goes down as easy as a Big Mac.

Unfortunately for Kinkade his franchise isn't currently seeing the same type of success as your typical McDonald's. For one thing people are accusing him of pushing his work into markets that simply couldn't support it. Apparently he uses the suggested "divinity" in his work to persuade some greedy Christians to stock his stuff on the walls. This past June he was actually sued by a few of them, and he lost. So his company has since declared bankruptcy and is facing reorganization. And in the meantime he has received a DUI.

But don't worry too much about the hard times. Kinkade is adapting his marketing strategy to include partnerships with Disney and Time Warner, and making inroads on home shopping networks. So anyone that was hoping that the state of the economy would push guys like this right out of the market is simply deluding himself. The only upside is that during your next visit to the mini-mall, you'll be less likely to be distracted by bad art. Then again... maybe not.

No comments:

Post a Comment