Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rest In Peace Thomas Kinkade

This post has nothing to do with Myriad. It is just a little something that has been on my mind.

Thomas Kinkade, an important and controversial American painter, died last week facing bankruptcy and struggling with alcholism. Kinkade made a small fortune making art that appealed to the common folk. Critics loathed his paintings that were an endless stream of the same general nostalgic theme. It must have been hard on him to paint day after day knowing that he was considered a joke in the art world.

An example of his work is pictured above, overlaid with a cheezy rain effect and a strange frame that someone thought was a good thing to do for some reason. But, you get the idea. It is kind of a forced Norman Rockwell style of pining for the good old days or a bad night at a Rodney Dangerfield concert where the audience just laughs to try to be polite.

Thomas Kinkade was popular among the masses and made a fortune cranking out his paintings-by-formula. A lot of people loved his work and those paintings are hanging on a lot of living room walls. Personally, I kind of see him as a contemporary version of those guys that used to make velvet paintings of Elvis. But, if you think about it, a hundred years from now just about everything that we think is "it" now - will be considered just as cheezy as Kinkade's art.

No, you weren't a Rembrandt, Van Gogh or an Edward  Hopper. But, you brightened a lot of people's lives for a long time and that is worth being proud of. There's a lot to be said for the cheezy side of Americana: 50's sci-fi movies; Buster Keaton slapstick; Robin Williams as Mork; and the self-proclaimed "Painter Of Light," Thomas Kinkade. In the end, we make our contribution one way or another. Thank you for yours, Mr. Kinkade.

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