Skip to comments."Painter of Light" Thomas Kincade dies at 54
Posted on 04/07/2012 7:39:53 AM PDT by KansasGirl
(CBS/AP) One of the most successful artists of all time, prolific painter Thomas Kinkade - the self-described "Painter of Light" - died Friday at the age of 54.
A spokesperson for the Kinkade family said the artist died at home in Los Gatos, Calif., apparently of natural causes.
Kinkade's paintings were anything but controversial, depicting scenes of a light-filled America with a heavy emphasis on home, hearth and church. His sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes in dewy morning light were beloved by many but criticized by the art establishment.
The painter once said that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy.
Those light-infused renderings are often prominently displayed in buildings, malls, and on products generally depicting tranquil scenes with lush landscaping and streams running nearby. Many contain images from Bible passages.
"I'm a warrior for light," Kinkade, a self-described devout Christian, told the San Jose Mercury News in 2002, a reference to the medieval practice of using light to symbolize the divine. "With whatever talent and resources I have, I'm trying to bring light to penetrate the darkness many people feel."
And he had a large following: Kinkade's paintings and spin-off products were said to fetch some $100 million a year in sales, and to be in 10 million homes in the United States.
Would this be the same "art establishment" that celebrates a crucifix in jars of pee as art? Not surprising they didn't appreciate the beauty in Kincaid's work.
Damn it. Such a shame. I really liked his painting and seemed to be a good person. Not to be crass but if you have a Kinkaid, the price just went up. God Bless him and his family.
This same “Art Establishment” loathed Norman Rockwell, Arthur Friberg, and Maxfield Parrish for the same reason. OR they would smarmily “demote” them from “Artist” to “Illustrator”.
It is as if the person is no longer an Artist if the intent is to celebrate beauty.
RIP, Mr. Kincaid.
Mr. Kincaid will be sorely missed, but we’ve been abundantly blessed by him and his talent, humility, and generous spirit.
The “art establishment” can go pound sand, naturally. From lauding the crucifix in a jar to gushing over a masterpiece they later learned was made by chimps to the eventual discovery of a painting hanging upside down for years in a museum, they’ve somewhat squandered any credibility they may have once had. The “artsy-fartsy” types dumped all over the late, great Norman Rockwell, too, for being a mere “illustrator” and not a true artist. Imagine that. Sounds like a collective case of a sort of, ahem, “envy” to me, but what do I know? I’m neither an art expert nor psychiatrist, of course.
The art world — like every other — is filled jealous, insecure, petty dictators who see “success” as a zero-sum game. Sometimes it seems the most brilliant people have the most shrivelled souls.
Actually, he was an alcoholic, who fell off the wagon a few yrs ago and was accused of spousal abuse. Apparently, he’s a mean drunk. I remember the story back then. I thought his career was over. Guess he made a comeback.
Don’t know if they’re still married.
Go to the light Thomas!
How do you die at home at age 54?
Critics be damned!
that has to be the mother of all ironies, and a really good reason to celebrate it all the more. But beauty is truth, and the truth might not look so pretty sometimes.
Beautiful work by him; I never knew. Thanks for the link, d.
Kincade s/b Kinkade in my previous post..
To many “art experts,” any work containing actual beauty is criticized as being trite and/or sentimental. I’ve never understood why.
Kincade’s plein air paintings of Catalina Island were excellent but his “light” paintings seem to be more Hotel/Motel school of art. Anyway, RIP Thomas.
I’m sorry, I found his work rather kitschy, but I appreciate his values and detail. He’ll be missed for the joy he’s brought to so many people.
I had no idea he was my age....I thought he was much older.
I didn’t hate him by any means even though not my cup of tea and his commercial success was huge ...more than likely anyone of last 25 years.
Bev Doolittle a close second maybe
and that whale painter from Carmel area...that has store too.
Anyhow Godspeed...there is art for everyone.
Critics and art majors often have a very arbitrary distinction between art and illustration.
and history can love an illustrator just the same...Remington, Russell, Rockwell and maybe Kincaid one day...who knows
He certainly had his demons to fight. WIKI Bio:
Sorry I am not sure I know the meaning of “kitschy”.
If you ever get a chance to go to a gallery that can adjust light when looking at one of his paintings, you’ll see that the lights in the windows, rooms and other places in the paintings really do light up. It’s cool.
Without sounding too insulting, it’s something that’s looks cheaply made, mass-produced. It’s not to that level. I guess I’ve just seen so much of Kincade’s work all over calendar’s, etc., that I do see it as that way. I know Rockwell stuff is the same way, but I just consider Rockwell cut above Kincade.
Don’t get me wrong, I would take a Kincade over a Pollock or a Bacon.
Yup. He was strange.
Though I admit, I liked some of his paintings, especially the street scenes.
Perfect! I agree.
Okay, I’m a little bit of an art snob.
I’M SORRY!!! I don’t criticize people who collect him, though. It’s there taste.
And, again, I appreciate him for the values he put through his paintings, so kitschy was too strong of a word.
Kitsch (English pronunciation: /ˈkɪtʃ/, loanword from German) is a form of art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style of art or a worthless imitation of art of recognized value.
In the modern era, throwing paint at a canvas, or putting a crucifix in urine is "Art".
Paintings which celebrate beauty are inferior, worthless, and "kitschy". Sophisticated people do not purchase such works.
This saint is in Heaven now rejoicing with his Savior Jesus Christ.
I see you beat me to it.
I think the classic examples of "kitch" are paintings of large-eyed kittens, large-eyed children, anything painted on black velvet, etc.
exactly. And appreciate his convictions and am sorry to hear about his struggles and his early death, which he might just see as a promotion.
His orignials a while back used to fetch about $20K - $40K. I sure wouldn't have paid it, as I saw the upside as very limited. I think his after death prosepcts will focus on the volume of art he created. I don't think he massed produced originals (versus the opposite of copies (prints, giclees, etc.).
Due to that scarcity, I can see his original art going up, partially offset by the lack of artist quality.
“anything painted on black velvet, etc”
If you think that's easy ..............
Inspired by these galleries I installed multiple track lighting with dimmers all over my condo.
Most of what I hang is my own photography, but we just started collecting glass art. Glass has an intensity of color and reflection that is hard to get with oils.
The word might have a genuine meaning, but in popular conversation it is used to insult one thing in order to elevate one's self and promote the idea that one is Intellectually Sophisticated.
The only people I know who use the word "kitsch" are Liberals.
Yes, Truth is not always “Pretty”.
That’s why I love FR. We celebrate beauty, but we are not afraid of the truth, even when it’s ugly.
Mr. Kincaid had chosen the Beautiful part of truth upon which to focus his talent. That is OK, as there is no shortage of Artists who revel in the controversial, the gritty, the harsh, and ugly aspects of the truth.
Kinkaid was refreshing in his depiction of Beauty, as it is getting quite rare these days. Nearly all aspects of our present culture (Art, Music, Film, Dance, etc)celebrate violence, deviant sex, racial hatred, misogyny, drug abuse, and death.
And that’s not even counting the porn.
Then you certainly won't appreciate one of my favorite artists, which is OK. Mrs p6 won't let me hang any of Ken Zylla - a gallery of his art. these in our home...sigh.
I liked Kinkade as well and if it were up to me I'd have both his, Zylla's and a few other paintings and prints from artists I enjoy around our home. As it is now it's all pictures of grandkids so no room for my stuff, LOL!
If you ever get a chance to go to a gallery that can adjust light when looking at one of his paintings, youll see that the lights in the windows, rooms and other places in the paintings really do light up. Its cool.
We have a photograph of a waterfall and a local watercolor of a lake scene for the same purpose. "Don't bother me ... I'm at the waterfall!"
I'm a mother of an artist (medical Illustrator) “they draw what can't be seen, watch what's never been done, and tell thousands about it without saying a word”
ALL artist have been given a talent from God...ours was a gift as well...I've always found Peace and Comfort in Thomas Kinkades works, he will be missed by many..
WISHING ALL FREEPERS A BLESSED EASTER.
I agree, but one man's kitsch is another man's living room. I find Kincade's style too predictable, but if it's popular, he deserves to be successful, and more power to him and those that like him. For me, the closest thing to what Kincade was doing that I like are Maxfield Parrish's landscapes.
Because their hearts are full of sin and black bile.
Therefore beauty and light are loathsome, "for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks".
Aren't we all?
I wouldn't give a penny for a Picasso or a Warhol or most anything abstract.
On a side note last year I picked up a "print" of a Lautrec Moulin Rouge poster for our bedroom. I should have sent it back because it's not well done but decided to keep it anyway because I like it, flaws and all.