I want to give this disclaimer to my post: I understand it's okay that you guys enjoy this man's work and I think you should be allowed to celebrate
him. That said, I have my opinion.
The reason people don't like Thomas Kinkade is that, first off, he wasn't a very good person. Here's an LA Times article that sums most of it up:
Thomas Kinkade's Life Was Often At Odds
With His Pastoral Vision
If you want a bullet point version, here we go:
-Drunk driving arrest
-Public urination, including an incident at Disneyworld
-Groped a female fan
-Sued several times and investigated by the FBI for his business practices, which also ruined a couple store owners.
-Shouted and cursed at a woman who tried to help him when he fell down dead drunk.
-Did all of these things while waving the flag of Christianity, a label he used to draw people in, but a philosophy he obviously did practice.
And he held several views that a lot of people (including myself) view as contrary to the notion of art. There's no doubt that he was a very
technically proficient artist. But that's like saying a machine is an incredible artisan. Kinkade believed that
art wasn't about self-expression and
Art should be about self-expression, it should reflect something of the creator. That's prevailing notion of all art,
whether it's paintings or music or writing. Here's Kinkade's opinion on self-expression in art: "To this day, I find it odious that that notion
is fostered within the arts. It is very self-serving and a self-absorbed kind of approach to creativity that really is ineffective. In fact, artists
have fought the wrong battle over the past 75 to 100 years. The battle has been one for the freedom of expression, the battle to obtain freedom of
expression. Well, artists have won that battle but, in the meantime, they’ve lost the war for cultural relevancy and a positive impact on
What Kinkade is really saying is that art that comes from within doesn't sell well. The audience should be a secondary thought. Otherwise, it's just
a product, it's a focused-grouped, market tested product. It's like almost all the music of the radio, it's made specifically to sell, not
necessarily to be good. And it does sell. Kinkade mass produces his art. He sold it any form he could. And it's not because he wanted to touch as
many people as possible with his art, but because he wanted to make as much money as he could.
He was the McDonald's of art, the Wal-Mart, And he exploited the faith of his fans to make more money. And he talks down to people in his paintings.
He makes them as simple as possible, because he doesn't think people are smart enough to appreciate it if he does.