View Full Version : what is the interest in thomas kinkade

10-31-2002, 11:40 PM
i was reading the list of favorite artists and thomas kinkade came up several times. i attend a baptist university and my art teacher loath him with a passion. after an interview he did in usa today one went ranting over the building. his ultimately problem is that painting pretty cottages isn't that difficult in fact it takes very little talent or training to do so. even then he's perspective is lacking. so with critique of the man's work why do some of you like his work so much?

Keith Russell
11-01-2002, 12:42 PM

I don't have an answer to your question, but I'd like to propose a related one.

Why do people hate Kinkade and his work so much?

I don't particularly like his work, but I don't loathe it, either, to the extent that some do.

Personally, I don't think about Kinkade that much at all.


11-01-2002, 05:59 PM
I agree with Keith. What's the big deal with Kinkade? He paints what and how he wants to paint (like we all do) and is having success with it. His syle isn't my style, but if it works for him and people buy his stuff, then why not?
Sounds like your art teacher is jealous.

11-01-2002, 06:28 PM
I don't really find his work a favorite, but I don't dislike it either. It reminds me of the little houses and villages we put under the Christmas tree Too simple for my taste.

So, the bottom line is that I don't see what the facination with him is!

Maybe someone else can explaine it to me.

11-01-2002, 09:07 PM
His paintings are not at all my cup of tea. but fairly good for what they are. My problem with Kinkade and why I dislike him so much has to do with him... not his art. He is a mediocre to good artist, but as a person, I think he is a slimeball. He makes his money as an artist through marketing and manipulation. Not because he is a great artist. I have a problem with someone who crankes out 2000 gyclees at a cost of $25 and sells them for $2000. Some people take the opinion of "well, more power to him if he can do that" But I've always beleived that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. His statements about modern art are also offensive to anyone that creates art outside of his niche. He has gone as far as to state that All modern art should be destroyed. listen to some bits from an interview.

"Kinkade leans forward, his voice rising in intensity. "The disintegration of the culture starts with the artist," he says. "In a way, Modernism in painting is responsible for South Park and gangsta rap."

"The travesty of Modernism, Kinkade believes, is that it has become an "inbred, closed culture." The result of Modernism's contempt for the audience, he insists, is that museums are dying."

He is a sick sick man in my opinion. Not to mention I think it's creepy that he imprints his DNA in all his gyclees.

I think his art will go the route of the beany babies eventually. He doesn't even sell any of his paintings. only gyclees by the tens of thousands. Who the heck wants Gyclee #4532 of his Cottage Lights scene for $4000? apparently their is a sucker born every day. I have found that most people do not really understand what these things are... many asume they are paintings, not prints.

11-03-2002, 10:22 PM
I've got to agree with El_Elegante! Kincade's paintings are mediocre and he feeds the ignorant public the misconception that his artwork is worth something. The problem is that the public believes that they are buying paintings, when in fact they're buying a beanie baby to stick on their wall.
And as far as Modernism being responsible for South Park and gangsta rap, I say more power to Modernism!:clap: :clap: I'm a 30 something soccer mom, married to a police man, and both of us listen to Eminem and watch South Park. I guess we're evil :evil: people! Rock on!
By the way, I don't know of anyone who is jealous of Kincade. I personally just point and laugh.


----Refuse to be ordinary

Keith Russell
11-04-2002, 12:16 PM

Well, I listen to Peter Murphy and Bjork, and own the deluxe edition DVD of Seven, so I guess (at least by Kinkade's standards), I'm pretty evil, too.

Yes, his marketing strategy is abyssmal; he's basically feeding off of the fact that his 'patrons' know nothing about art, and (as if that wasn't bad enough) he's feeding off of their fear of popular society and popular culture.

But, hey. These people don't have to be ignorant. The information they need to become savvy is out there, and mostly free for the asking. (Internet, libraries, gallery people to talk to, bookstores for browsing, etc.)

So, if they're suckers, they've no one but themselves to blame for it.


11-04-2002, 02:57 PM
Evils of Kinkade article.


11-08-2002, 05:50 PM
I think many like Kinkaide (sp?) because his art is safe and non-controversial. Middle class America tends to purchase "safe art," and unfortunately do not want anything in their personal enviorons to upset them.

11-09-2002, 01:33 PM
I agree that Kinkade is creepy. His scenes are saccharine and wierdly colored. I would love to start buying prints, and paint, in a small and not immediately obvious place, a bum throwing up in an alleyway or a couple fighting behind that glowing, snow-laced window pane.....then resell it!

As a teenager I actually did that kind of stuff with motel art. I'd always bring my paints, add a small creepy figureto the idealistic landscape hanging on the wall while mom and dad were sleeping, and then we'd check out the next day.... Ah, memories!

11-10-2002, 03:22 AM
I can at least do a quick cut and paste...

11-12-2002, 02:02 PM
as someone posted saying kinkades paintings are safe, true. but to me its goes beyond that. His images are calming and non irritating sort of like a dream scene that does not exist and everyone wants to live in a calm world, or the ones who dont thrive on chaos. Its a nice kind of art but to me shows more technique rather than creativity. I do like kinkades pleinair paintings of the beach ocean. I think they are done pretty well. They are nice, but again do not really show anything dramatically impressive to me.

My husband likes his scenes but I am painting a better one :D to go in our formal living room. When I finish I will post and show.

I love the drunk in the scene ha ha ha , you can paste well :evil:


11-12-2002, 06:39 PM
Like I said. Middle Class America (to utilize a stereotype) does not like anything in the home that may possibly cause them to think or to be uncomfortable. Frankly, I feel sorry for them.

11-13-2002, 03:19 AM
then some people are not interested in thinking too much or just tired. It reminds me of the saying, give them something that they did not know they wanted. But, we all ahould have the freedom of choice too! Sometimes I just dont choose :evil:

11-13-2002, 02:50 PM
I think a lot of people are scared of art.

11-13-2002, 10:18 PM
I guess two things bother me about him; one is the cloying over-done atmosphere that he ladles on everything, the second is about how his 'art' is really a whole industry. Besides having the franchise store outlets in malls, etc. there is actually a housing development ( I think it's in a hot arid area, if I remember correctly - it will be hard to have snow-lace window panes in that case! ) that is built a la Kincaide - with 19th century style streetlamps, the whole deal. It's just a little too wierd for me.

But as you said, Pilan, it is all about choice, and I too, choose 'no' when it comes to that kind of McArt. ;)

just dave
11-18-2002, 01:06 PM
He IS an artist. His style is sentimental and liked by the masses, so that's why so many other artists hate him with a passion. His paintings are not easy to do; if you think so then duplicate several if you can and see how long it takes! What he does takes talent and artistic ability and vision.
Many artists did not Norman Rockwell for the same reasons.
Now don't get me going about this; I think Andy Worhol was not an artist, along with many other modern "artists."

11-18-2002, 06:40 PM
"Anything an artist does is Art." Andy Warhol

While we all have our personal opinions regarding what Art is, there actually has never been a definition of Art.

11-18-2002, 07:26 PM
I agree that although Kincade's style isn't to my taste, that doesn'e mean I should proclaim that it isn't art; it just happens to be not my sort of art. I don't think much of having thousands of reproduction prints out there, but again, that is a marketing choice which he has used to his advantage. (I would hope that people paying the money they are paying don't think they are buying an original, but the truth is, some of them may not care... we as artists may, but some people may just want a pretty picture to match their sofa...) ;)

What I take issue with (and though I am hesitant to open this can of worms, I feel compelled to.....) is that he seems to use his religious beliefs to market his work, by including a religious symbol with his signature. This bothers me not so much as an artist, but from the standpoint of ethics...... don't know if anyone else is bothered by this or not....


11-18-2002, 08:42 PM
I was referring to 'Just Dave" in his statement regarding Andy Warhol.

I think Kinkade is great in terms of his depictions and methods, I prefer more contemporary Art in my personal environment, however.

Keith Russell
11-22-2002, 05:24 PM

There have been numerous definitions of art.

But there has never been one definition of art upon which everyone is agreed...


11-22-2002, 05:29 PM
Everyone has their own definition of Art, which is basically an opinion. "Officially", there is no definition of Art.

11-22-2002, 08:02 PM
Kinkade could care less, as he laughs all the way to the bank...

And all those with their high falutin' ideas and ideals about what is or isn't art, and whether or not Kinkade is or isn't an artist are all forgeting the main point:

MILLIONS of people have paid THEIR OWN money for his images, because THEY CHOSE TO, as is their right.

You could not pay me enough in diamonds and gold to hang a velvet painting of Elvis, or a "Dogs Playing Poker" tapestry in my house, but again, millions of people have chosen to do so. And enjoy their choice every time they look at it.

Millions of people choose to spend their money on a multitude of things others consider gauche, ugly, untalented, harmful, dangerous, put-your-adjective-here. That is their choice, not any of yours.

If you don't like something, fine. Don't spend your hard-earned money on it. But don't presume to judge others' "taste" on YOUR values. Maybe looking at a Kinkade cottage reminds someone of their Grandmother's house. Maybe it just fills an odd blank spot on the wall and matches their color scheme. Maybe they feel that they are part of a type of global "club" of Kinkade lovers...Why should you care?

Part of the grousing I've read here does seem to be jealousy, in that some of you feel that Kinkade's mass produced product is somehow hurting your efforts as an artist. If so, you are a businessman more than an artist. Van Gogh didn't sell one of his paintings while he was alive. But he certainly didn't blame it on people liking the work of someone else.

The original post remarked upon an instructor's rabid hatred of Kinkade works. My response is that the instructor is narrow minded. Not in regards to art, but in regards to everyone's right to make their own choices to please themselves and no one else.

11-22-2002, 09:28 PM
Dear Madster,

Thank you for your pent-up diatribe. I never felt that any of the posts were sent because of jealousy, or fame or anything else. As I have been reading this post, it has merely been a discussion, albeit hard, about Kinkaid's work, nothing more.

This thread has also segued to the definition of Art. I frankly see no problem here, except for yours.

"Thou dost protest too much."

Please calm down.

11-22-2002, 10:44 PM
i've found interesting how so many people have commented on the fact that his work is safe. i had never thougth of it that way, but it seems true. yet i do agree with those you do find fault in the man's choice to take advantage of those not well informed of what he has chosen to sell.

madster in fact my professor is not at all narrow-minded. he does have issues with the usage of religion to create a massive, deceptive empire. while i'd hate to ruin your example, van gogh sold one painting in his career. to his younger brother, who in fact supported him throught his careers.

Mary Ruth
11-24-2002, 12:30 PM
I belong to that crowd out there who doesn't know good art when they see it. You know the ones, " We may not know art, but we know what we like." I wish I did know how to really judge art. I look at lots of the stuff on here that people rave about and to me it looks like stew someone forgot to throw out. I don't blame the artist, I know the fault usually lies with me and my absolute lack of an education in the finer things.
I don't want a painting or print by Kincaide, but I see why he does so well with the pubic. His paintings are happy. You know right away what they are supposed to be. No one has to explain to you why that person has only black holes for eyes, or why the face of the kid on the left is green on one side and purple on the other. Many are like me. We have seen so much in our lives that leaves us wondering what happened to the happy world we knew as a child. We want something, be it music, paintings, books, or poetry, that we understand, remember, or that just makes us feel good. For a little while we want to be happy. Thats what I look for in paintings. If it makes me happy, I love it. If it makes me sad, but teaches in some way, I love it. If I have to try to find someone to tell me what it's all about, I leave it for the folks who understand fine art.
And I am an old lady who doesn't know enough to keep her mouth shut about things she doesn't understand.

11-26-2002, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by Chadda
I think a lot of people are scared of art.

Remember Hitler was so "scared" of art that he put all the German modernists on display as "degenerates". A lot of those artists emigrated to the west and our culture is all the richer for it.

It sickens me that middle America or middle Canada might feel threatened by modern or abstract art. That they could be lulled into a sense of security by art like Kinkaede's or Rockwell's is somewhat disturbing..

11-26-2002, 07:05 PM
This is nothing new. When the Armory Show debuted in 1913 in NYC, featuring artists from Europe, pregnant womyn were advised not to view it as it could damage their unborn babies.

Such classics as Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase" were derided. Every new creation epoch in art history has been met with complete derision, only to become venerated as 'classics' later.

We need to keep history in mind. Manet was completely denigrated in his time, too!


11-26-2002, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by saralindsey
in fact my professor is not at all narrow-minded. he does have issues with the usage of religion to create a massive, deceptive empire.

It sounds like your professor is quite a peice of work.... He's an art teacher who doesn't want to see another artist succeed in his chosen style, and he's a professor at a Baptist university who has trouble with religion...
Are you sure you're getting what you're paying for at this school?

Keith Russell
11-27-2002, 04:50 PM

So, what are we saying?

We deride Kinkade, yet warn ourselves not to deride artists or art, because art--that we now accept as great--was derided in its day?

We criticize the Nazis for censorship, yet we criticize Kinkade, and those who deride 'modern' art?

This works both ways.

Art isn't 'good' just because its unpopular. Nor is all popular art bad. (If only things were so simple.)

I'm not a big fan of non-representational or non-objective art, but I'm not a fan of Kinkade's either.

But, saying that Kinkade is bad because he's popular, is just as bad as saying that he's good just because he's popular.

Quality (or lack thereof) is not determined by consensus.



12-02-2002, 11:18 AM
I have problems with using Christianity as a marketing tool. I have problems with using art-ignorant, gullible people to buy your prints, pricing them so high, they assume they are originals. That hurts all of us.

12-02-2002, 07:29 PM
"Kinkade is on a crusade to destroy Modernism. If Picasso said that he wanted to destroy beauty in his art, Kinkade wants to recapture it. Modernism has been the scourge not just of painting, but of theology too. It is time we joined hands with Kinkade in his quest, in order to discover anew that the only answer to the world’s situation and to our personal need is the One whose life is the light of men." - Back Free Church

I didn't realize that people like me were the scourge of theology and art. I have been so wrong. I will redeam myself by painting classical figures in village scenes, with happy playful children, and happy mothers in the kitchen, and good fathers who work so hard to provide for their families... and each painting will contain somewhere hidden on the canvas PICASSO SLAPPING THE [email protected]#$! OUT OF POOR LITTLE THOMAS KINKADE/

Keith Russell
12-04-2002, 12:25 PM

Quotes like the one above are the reason why I enjoy being both an atheist and an artist.


12-09-2002, 03:52 PM
Hey, Kinkade is Kinkade. He uses the Henry Ford assembly line method for painting and producing prints and he's making money. Good for him.

His art is easy for the masses to understand and they like it. They have his work on their jigsaw puzzles, their collectable plates, their blank note cards, their mugs, their address labels, and anywhere else Kinkade can stick his art and market it. I don't have a Kinkade jigsaw puzzle.

It's a business.

Norman Rockwell was an illustrator who had his own style and is finally getting the recognition as a serious artist he deserves. I have a Rockwell jigsaw puzzle.

Warhol is my favorite artist. I have a couple Warhol Jigsaw puzzles. Think I'll put one together today, glue it together with that jigsaw puzzle glue you can buy at the hobby shop, then frame it. I'll hang it beside the huge poster of Warhol I bought at the opening of the Warhol Museum. Oh, my friends will be so jealous.

Break up Kinkade's name: KiNk AdE

12-10-2002, 12:58 AM
I don't know from art, but I know what I like. Isn't that what it's all about? Art is ,like beauty,all in the eye of the beholder.
Personally, I have the utmost respect for anyone who not only is bold enough to show off his talents,but is making or made (insert whichever applies) a lucrative living at it. whether or not you or I like it is really a moot point.:cool:

Keith Russell
12-11-2002, 09:42 AM
][remble said:

"I don't know from art, but I know what I like. Isn't that what it's all about?"

Not hardly... As an artist, I need to know not only what I like, but why I like it.[/COLOR

Art is ,like beauty,all in the eye of the beholder.

[COLOR=red]Couldn't disagree more...

Personally, I have the utmost respect for anyone who not only is bold enough to show off his talents,but is making or made (insert whichever applies) a lucrative living at it.

The fact that Kinkade is making money via his art only shows that many people like it enough to buy it. But that fact says nothing at all about the quality of Kinkade's work. There could be--and probably are--numerous people with poor taste...

--whether or not you or I like it is really a moot point.

Again, I disagree.


12-11-2002, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by RobinZ
...I have problems with using art-ignorant, gullible people to buy your prints, pricing them so high, they assume they are originals...

I have problems with that too. How does one connect with these gullible people?

12-11-2002, 09:48 PM
ain't it great we can all have diverse opinions ?
personally i don't like kinkade. that wasn't my point.
if he can do it and people will buy it, more power to him.

12-12-2002, 07:10 AM
I've never heard of him ............. until this thread. *shrug*

elizabeth ours
12-14-2002, 11:53 PM
Kinkade: saw him once selling his paintings on qvc - He praised the Lord frequently while he spoke about his art work. It kind of reminded me of how the televangelists do their job. After that show, I find him and his art work to be repulsive.

12-15-2002, 02:43 PM
I agree. That's why I don't the the 'he's just another artist trying to make money any way he can' viewpoint holds water. It's Precious Moments on canvas/board/poster stock/wallpaper trim.

To me, the higher power he responds to is his accountant and the latest market analysis.

Michael Rutherford
12-16-2002, 01:35 AM
Well I think we have several things here we need to consider.
Some people creat art for fun some for relaxation as a stress releaver, some creat art for profit, some for personal use, some for enjoyment to share with others.
Everyone has their own reasons for creating art.
Mr Kinkades is for profit. There is nothing wrong with this. He is not saying this is an original oil painting. If he does say this I am unaware of this. The fact that i can go in a Thomas Kinkade gallery and see his pictures in a calendar and a print makes me believe that I could go into another Store and see them again. I relize they are not originals. I think you dont give the public the credit that they are not all bumbling idiots buying art. People buy what they like. I rarely see people buy something they dont like. For instance I dont like rap music. This is my choice. I then make the decesion when I go into a music store to not buy rap. I buy what I like. Hmm what a novel concept. LOL :)
Comeon guys and girls who cares what he does. Why worry or care about the other person. Do what you want to do. Do what makes you happy. Create art for your own reasons. And dont let anyone stop you from doing so.

Also some (not all) of these post attack others personally and this is not the type of post I am used to at this particular site. I am suprised.
Thanks MIke :)

12-16-2002, 02:10 AM
I don't normally like to pick on a particular person or artist. That's not normally what I'm about, to be sure. I guess I viewed him a bit differenly from an artist doing his own thing due to the franchises that are open in malls, the Thomas Kincaide housing development, the home decoration line, etc. It didn't seem so much like a man and his art but rather an industry with multiple product lines. Therein lies the difference for me. But again, we each have our own opinions, and it is not such a big deal to me either. Just annoying, like seeing fast food ads. To each his own. Peace.

12-16-2002, 04:58 PM
Personally, I cannot tolerate his "art" and I abhor the fact that he once strokes a canvas painted by an underling and calls it an "original"


I remember a time when I had a small book shop in Texas and sold AA recovery books and cards and some New Age stuff......the Baptist Church down the road.....preached a sermon about me...and then a small group picketed my store....calling me "devil" and "witch"

the smart folks who are my support , said...you must be making progress...or they wouldn't spend so much time hating you ....they are afraid.

So I wonder, too about all the energy that goes into HATING Thomas.....

12-17-2002, 03:39 PM
and now ...

who is going to start a thread ART or ILLUSTRATION ...........?

(by the way, middle-class Europe would buy SAFE ART too but is SAFE always ART ? I wonder !)

Too many questions ?

12-18-2002, 02:08 PM
Hey, I won't even get into the Thomas Kinkade art thing...the debate has been discussed so well already by so many others.

what I want to know is ...where do I get glicees done for just $25 a pop???? (ref. earlier post)

Ron van den Boogaard
12-18-2002, 02:44 PM
Never heard of the guy but my good friend Google helped me out

So he's the Martha Stewart of painting (note that I am not using the word art here). So maybe they should marry and she can run him over with her car.

Norman Rockwell is a different league alltogether as far as I am concerned. He actually caught an era with great humour and a lot of cynicism as well. He was not all that "safe", but got embraced as such.

Personally I'd rather have a Chapman Brothers for my birthday

01-21-2003, 11:24 PM
I recently made the "fox paws" of telling my son's in-laws the true monetary value of a Kinkade as collectible art, and further explained how his work is manufactured. They had recently paid several hundred dollars for a limited edition work (nnnn of nnnnn). LOL. As for his business ethics as a Christian, I can only say I am embarrassed, being a Jewish believer of Y'shua Messiah, myself.

Danny E Haislet

Keith Russell
01-22-2003, 11:54 PM

As an atheist, I am not in the least embarassed by Mr. Kinkade.

His 'sins' are utterly his own, and in no way do they reflect on me or what I do as an artist, nor as a human being.


01-23-2003, 10:27 PM
Wow. We are spending a lot of time and energy thinking about someone we don't like.

Think I'll buy some Kinkade salt and pepper shakers to adorn my table and a Kinkade calendar (when they mark em down 75% off in February) just to irritate myself everyday. I need the angst.

We need bumper stickers that read: If you can read this you're a Kinkade Lover

Kate Church
01-27-2003, 11:41 AM
I agree wholeheartedly. It's not art- it's boring.

Keith Russell
01-29-2003, 09:39 AM

Andy Warhol often used the word 'boring' to describe his work, and he meant it as a compliment. Warhol was often interested in things [most] other people would find incredibly boring.

(Has anyone here besides me seen Warhol's Haircut?)

Just because something is 'boring' doesn't mean it's not 'art' also.

We all-too-often define art as 'stuff we like'. If we describe something as 'boring', that usually means that it is uninteresting to us.

That might only mean we can't see why the thing is worthy of interest--not that there is no reason for interest at all.

Kinkade's work may be 'dull', it may be 'boring', but I believe that it is art.

Just because it is art, though, doesn't mean I have to like it. (And, in the case of Kinkade, I don't.)