Skip to comments.Thomas Kinkade, one of nation's most popular painters, dies suddenly in Los Gatos at 54
Posted on 04/06/2012 8:34:22 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY
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The 32 members of the group will be submitting up to four paintings between now and July.The show and sale in August is our major event for fundraising.
I try not to be too commercial in promoting this non profit. Once in a while a window opens.
"Ribera; Vermeer; Georges de La Tour and Rembrandt could never have existed without him; And Delacroix; Courbet and Manet would have been utterly different" Roberto Longhi.
The artist Caravaggio had a profound influence on figurative painting. He was a rebel who shocked the established art world with every painting. His use of prostitutes for models of Mary and his depiction of saints in common dress outraged the church. He even killed a man over a tennis match. His life was short and he died in exile. After his death, his detractors attributed lesser paintings to him and many of his greatest works were claimed by other artists. Even today, mystery and controversy surround him and his work but there is no denying his amazing talent.
The dramatic lighting is the first thing I notice when I see a Caravaggio. Well before Rembrandt, he used a nearly black background to emphasize the figures and lead the viewer into the story of each painting. The Calling of Saint Matthew is one of his earlier works. Although a complicated composition, Caravaggio leads us right to the center of interest. The shadow on the wall, the three accusing fingers and the sword of the seated man, all point to the seated Saint Matthew forming a triangle. He uses this device throughout his work. In the Crucifixion of Saint Peter, I count seven triangle shapes. You can probably find more.
Foreshortening is another favorite technique of Caravaggio. The seated figure in the center of the Calling of Saint Matthew, with his back to us, could have cut the painting in half but the use of the foreshortened legs directs my eye back into the painting. The foreshortened hand of Christ in Supper at Emmaus, grabs my attention.
One last element that makes Caravaggio's paintings so intense, is the direction of the observer's gaze. In Supper at Emmaus even the barmaid and server direct me with their gaze. All eyes lead to Christ. I especially love the gaze play in the Calling of Saint Matthew, at the top. The seated men at the table are looking at the standing men who are pointing to Saint Matthew. I don't know any other painter who directs the eye so well.
I was just playin’ around.
Seriously, my wife loves Kinkade’s work. It seems to me his work is to the art world what pop (i.e., Britney Spears) is to the music world.
He was a huckster who sold collectibles that in reality were worth a fraction of what he was selling them for.
My wife bought some of his prints along with several figurines. She didn’t buy them for their “collectible” status as an investment. She bought them because she enjoyed looking at them and wanted to use them to decorate our home.
As for value, an item’s value is what someone is willing to pay.
...before charging $1500. Its resale value is about $250 and that’s including the frame.
My wife found his stuff for a lot less than $1500. I’m sure she even beat $250.
Doesn’t surprise me. He’d show up at the salon sweating heavily for no apparent reason & smelling like a distillery.
***Never, never, never buy something called a collectible anything!***
I wish I could get that through my wife’s head about her “collectable” dolls.
Several years ago a man I worked with wanted me to do a copy of a Kinkade painting for his wife. Less than half way through I begged off claiming “copyright” laws prevented me from doing it. Actually I could not stand to look at the painting.
***As always, the liberals who root for the masses on the sidelines are snobbish elite.***
Forty years ago there was a popular artist whose work was everywhere. The Libs hated his work so bad they constantly derided it. The Artist said it made him so sad to be savaged by the critics that he cried every time he went to the bank to make a deposit. ;-D
*** He had so many utterly dopey paintings, such as the one below, of buildings improbably placed feet away from mountain streams (all ready to be flooded come spring thaw)***
My thoughts exactly. I saw one of his paintings that almost made me go blind. Nice painting of a country lane going up to a bandstand. Then the path splits. The left eye wants to go left, and the right eye wants to go right. I felt cross eyed for the rest of the day.
I’m still waiting on my garage sale bonanza.
Didn’t some gal go to a garage sale and pay like ten bucks for a big mess of a painting that turned out to be an original early Jackson Pollock worth like $250K?
I think I heard recently about some guy in like Cleveland or something going through some folders and ended up finding an original Picasso.
Just one Van Gogh, that’s all I want, just one!
Picture in the middle is cool...but it needs the State Rental Decals on it (most I see here in North Georgia have 6-10 decals on them. Also, it could use some of the icicle Christmas lights.
Thank you, Psalm, for the ping. Whenever I get one of your rare ones, I know the discussion is worthwhile. I haven’t read all the posts on this thread, but I scanned a few. While I can’t share your sentiments re: Kincade [neutral and unobjectionable as they were], it did bring to mind a recent fascinating discussion I had w a real, singularly talented bona fide artist.
It came about when I read an AT article that lumped Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso into the same no-talent category. I don’t care for Pollock, and my non-artistic view is that Picasso had real and simply amazing talent. So I asked this artist if he agreed.
He said in art circles the ‘right’ answer is that they’re equally good. He said personally he gives more than a minor edge to Picasso. But he followed that w the part I found extraordinarily fascinating.
Namely, he described the time he viewed Monet’s work firsthand in a gallery. He told me—which I didn’t know—that the famous Haystacks are gargantuan. Just colossal. He said from close at hand they look like nothing more than chaotic colors thrown together; you have to step back at least 20 feet to see the actual haystacks emerge. [Monet had a special pulley system designed to enable him to paint them.]
He said he came away awestruck at Monet’s genius. Then he said he’s never viewed a Pollock at similarly close quarters. He had, however, observed Pollocks’ early work, and told me the man had sufficient artistic ‘chops’ to make it at any type of art he chose: realism, impressionism, etc. He said he was reserving ultimate judgment on his later works until, as he hoped, he one day saw them in a gallery.
Something to think about. My artist friend didn’t change my mind, but he gave me tons of food for deep reflection.
I don’t think one should have to take a class at college to figure out what art they like and what art they dislike...
Generally, the movies, art, music, etc... that the “experts” praise suck. Wasn’t it the “experts” who kept telling us that Al Gore beat G.W. Bush in the 2000 election?
as for wine, I couldn’t tell the difference between the “good” stuff and the discount variety in the supermarket....
A few years ago, a morning news show reported that a wine referred to as “two buck chuck” took first place over a lot of fine producers at several competitions.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, just good.
Compare Kincaids art to modern art. Even modern art from decades ago until now.
Kincaid is King of all Artists compared to any modern art.
No doubt, Monet was brilliant.
The soft combinations of colors, the diffuse borders, the subject matter itself leave one with a peace that is practically unmatched.
Van Gogh is now and will always be my favorite.
It makes one wonder about motives. Monet’s works do not make me wonder about past or future or circumstances. But I saw a copy of a simple still life by Van Gogh that showed shoes in a closet and it brought to my imagination ten thousand questions about who wore the shoes, where they were worn, what path they trod...
Picasso had two important qualities. First, he was technically, a great painter.
Secondly, he was crazy.
His artistry takes you to a place where you almost immediately forget the picture and start to reflect (internally reflect) on the meaning.
That’s not always an easy thing to do, even writers have a hard time sometimes of using narrative and making the reader wonder how that reflects them.
I am getting to be an older man now, spent most of my life with computers.
But if I could live my life again, it would be with watercolors at hand.
Oh s**t! I had to run to my bookcase to see if someone had stolen my book IT’S A MAN’S WORLD by Adam Parfrey! I love that old MAN”S magazine art.
One of my favorite calender artists from the 1960s had an unpronounceable Norse name. His art was beautiful. Nostalgia paintings of old blacksmith shops, kids skipping stones across a creek, old trains. His name which I can’t spell correctly was Delfsindorf or something like that.
My personal favorite calender artist was GIL ELVGRIN! :-D Wo wo wo!
Back in the 1960s magazine publishers decided to drop their cover art and go with photos. So, all those Connecticut artists put on the big hat, went west and became Western Artists. I will admit, they were good!
***Sort of like those gold coins that Franklin Mint tries to pawn off at outrageous prices;***
You mean those zinc coins with 100% 24 carat pure GOLD plate from the Marshall Islands! ;-D
Here’s one (of many) measures of the merit of an artists:
It’s the ratio of the current value of his body of work (or a subset being measured) to the first sale price. Preferably adjusted for inflation.
Van Gogh, and others are highly ranked, selling for little in their lifetimes, but fetching high prices now. Kinkade is at the other end, retailing at hyped prices that can’t be recovered at retail.
There is a polite word in the art world for work like Kinkade’s: “Decorative.”
Yeah, I would have loved to have owned that land. I believe that it was offered as settlement, but I think that the company I worked for was kind of in the hole as far as billable hours vs. cold hard cash was concerned, and they wanted the money, pronto. Beautiful property, I-90 used to run the shoreline at only 2 lanes there, until a bridge was built and freed it all up.
We spent many hours in the field and office there. Between a cheating dirt work contractor cutting corners and some SERIOUSLY messed up boundary to contend with, our company lost considerable money, I figure. Looking back, it was doomed from the start...
We are not all art investors, sometimes people, believe it or not just buys a painting that they believe will look good in their den or living room.
Thank you for the Carravagio
Thank you for a fascinating post. I savored every syllable. I am a big Van Gogh fan, but my artist friend is a massive one. I wish I could remember every word he said about Van Gogh. He mentioned something about a particular self portrait Van Gogh painted 3 times, iirc, and how two of them were done via [the artist looking at himself in a] mirror and the third wasn’t. Don’t quote me; I’m already making a mental note to ask my friend about it the next time we speak.
Anyway, your observation is so intriguing. I hadn’t thought about it, but it’s true. Monet’s paintings are just there, in all their breathtaking, genius glory. Van Gogh ignites the imagination w questions about the backstory of [at least some of] of his work. That is a gift, and as you aptly said, not many have it.
For your info, that is William Shakespeare.
***Just a few thoughts on Kinkade and his art.**
Well, he IS better than Bob Ross.
The better question might be, "Why am I bothering responding to you?"
I know little about Kinkade other than I always enjoyed his paintings. He died young, at 54 - - which is younger than me - - of alleged "natural causes". I wondered if his recent legal battles with his art gallery franchises may have caused serious stress that contributed to ill health. So I did some research to try to learn more about the guy, find out who he was, where he was from. You know - - research.
I read the paragraphs about a drinking problem, along with several allegations of very erratic behavior, and decided to share the passage on the thread. That's what we do here - - share information and opinions.
FWIW, I don't enjoy the man's paintings any less.
Awww.... ya couldn't tempt me with a Diego Rivera mural with prominent hammers and sickles, or a self portrait by Trotsky's girlfriend, unibrow Frida Kahlo?
Shame on you.
WOW! Thanks for posting that. I (blush blush) hadn’t seen it before. It’s mindboggling. I’ve painted just enough to have an inkling of how hard such a subject would be. To not merely execute it so masterfully but also, as to you mentioned, to imbue it w the power to fire the imagination on every level—what a gift! Now I’m wondering how many more Van Goghs I’ve never seen. As time permits, I plan to explore that question further.
By the way, if that’s the craziest Kinkade got then he’s small-time crazy, believe me.
I agree with you on Kinkade. Too many sources of light. My eyes skip all around when I look at his pictures. They’re too busy.
Note the paintings of Caravaggio. One strong, dramatic source of light. A true master of light.
Here is a link to an organization that supports beautiful, realistic art done by today's artists: The Art Renewal Center. This group awards tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships in prizes to art done in the classical tradition. Look at the pages on the Salon Competitions; it will take your breath away.
Parody ing Kincade is a cottage industry:
Google has a better selection. The tenth pic down on the left-hand margin is the Duke’s of Hazard General Lee, jumping a Kincade trout stream. But my personal favorite is Cthulhu attacking the lighthouse. Good rendition of the monster, and well placed in the overall composition.
Do you have the gato ping list?
Cool stuff. Thanks!
That one speaks to me.
Your friend is spot on about actually viewing the orignal works. Back in the day I thought Gustav Klimt was an unparalleled genius, and that Egon Schiele was merely a creepy frustrated pornographer. These impressions were based on a LOT of serious study of bookbound reproductions.
I was very fortunate to view many of the originals one summer, and my ranking for these two artists reversed positions. Klimt’s work seemed tight, tentative and too controlled. Looking at the originals the work looked very academic and ‘safe’. Technically proficient, even brilliant, but . . . inert. I was -very- disappointed to see some of these things which had been favorites of mine - in reproduction.
Schiele on the other hand. Incredible. His work was spontaneous, visceral, and atavistic. In all of his works, the sense of the person was there, in an almost confrontational way. Certainly many here would reject a great many of his works based on subject matter, but his work captured power and subtleties in a way that I have only seen one of the Old Masters meet and in that case surpass.
First of all I will say that Im sorry to hear of his passing at age 54, only 3 years older than me and thats way too young IMO. Im sorry for his family.
I think the man had some talent especially in his younger years and as an illustrator, but I wouldnt consider him a great artist. Like someone else said, his paintings were decorative; nice if you like it but not fine art. Someone also mentioned greeting card art and that pretty much sums up Kincaid for me. There are many commercial artists toiling away producing similar and just as good if not better pictures and not making much money doing so. His work was very repetitive and after a time mass produced factory style by others with his name merely stamped on them and being sold for some rather outrageous prices to rather gullible folks that thought they were buying Art that would appreciate in value. My brother and SIL are among those.
What Kincaid was especially good at was marketing and self promotion and the art of franchising his brand even if it meant screwing over his franchisees.
On a more personal note, I actually had the distinct displeasure of speaking to the man on the phone a few times back in the mid 90s when I worked as an office manager for a professional firm that had Kincaid as one of its many wealthy clients. The few brief times I spoke with him, he was rude, arrogant and quite nasty. One time he called to speak with one of the senior partners and was outraged when I very politely told him that the partner was currently in a meeting and offered to take a message and have him return the call just as soon as he was available. Kincaid cursed at me and wouldnt take no for an answer and actually said something to the effect of Im too busy and important to wait around for a return phone call. followed by Dont you know who I am? I had actually been warned by some of my co-workers when I started the job about his verbal abusiveness and nastiness to the office staff.
I wasnt a big fan of his work before then but after those experiences, I never looked at his paintings in quite the same way.
He wanted to make people happy. "With whatever talent and resources I have, I'm trying to bring light to penetrate the darkness many people feel."
He didnt exactly practice what he preached IMO at least from my personal experience. He didn't impress me as a happy person. I hope he mellowed out before he died.
I actually have a preference for this kind of calender art.
The works of Paul Detlefsen.
No humidity. No bugs. No worries.
The other calender artist I like is Gil Elvgrin. WOW!
By “Modern art” I mean artists like Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollack and others from some decades ago, and whatever names are doing similar or worse stuff now; such as the painting of (supposedly) the Madonna with used tampons and elephant crap on it. Or the expensive public “sculptures” that are nothing but welded together pieces of metal that any half blind welder could put together.
I don’t mean just any art that happens to be created in the present. No doubt there is plenty of good art being created now, but it doesn’t get press because it’s not disgusting or offensives.
That was a Freeper classic. A Top Ten post of all time.
Re: Schiele, let me ask you something. Is it possible for an artist to be both exceptionally gifted AND a pornographer? I.e.: does one necessarily exclude the other? Or can an artist—even an extraordinarily powerful, talented and creative artist—produce pornography?
I know so much less about art than about writing, it's not funny. Perhaps this comparison completely misses the mark. Since it's the only one I know, I'll share it and see what you think.
Namely, when it comes to writing, no amount of talent is proof against turning one’s hand to smut. A truly great, gifted writer could/probably would write brilliantly conceived and executed smut, but it would still be smut. You could read and admire it—even be staggered by the potency and creativity of the prose from a literary standpoint--but you would still know the subject matter itself was lewd and smutty.
If that makes sense?
Me too, I just love the colors and they way it seemed he was inviting you to a wonderful home.
God Bless his soul and keep his family.
Which one is Frida, the little black monkey or the green parrot?
“Re: Schiele, let me ask you something. Is it possible for an artist to be both exceptionally gifted AND a pornographer? I.e.: does one necessarily exclude the other? Or can an artisteven an extraordinarily powerful, talented and creative artistproduce pornography?”
Short answer is: yes indeed, depending on your definition of porn. I will use ‘imagery intended to arouse erotic desire and to effect seduction’ as the definition. Under that definition, in your own area of the arts, Anais Nin comes to mind. In the studio arts Klimt and Schiele come close. Schiele is actually farther away from it, even though his images are more often more graphic and more overtly sexual. What makes them less ‘pornographic’ is the immediate sense of a real person there, as opposed to meat candy. Western art does not have as much express imagery as some cultures due to Judeo-Christian influences, however there is a LOT of sublimated or allusive ‘code’ imagery or treatment, which I think is valid and acceptable.
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