Say Rembrandt, and you know exactly who that is.
Say Rockwell... ditto.
Say Picasso... ditto.
Say Kinkade... ditto.
Most people are not neutral when it comes to Thomas Kinkade. They seem to either love him, or not. Most people, at least in the art world, are aware by now that Mr Kinkade passed away in April of this year.
Here's a short bio to help you understand the man better... to see why he emphasized the commercial side of his art.
See, he had a rough start. He was born in California in 1958, and had a father that left the family destitute when he was just five. He decided early on that he would never do that to his family.
His mother was left to raise 3 kids on a modest secretaries salary. So to his critics who simply sneer at the business side of his empire, I say consider his early influences before you judge so harshly. You can read more of his bio HERE.
I believe people liked Thomas Kinkade paintings for the way the images made them feel.
They didn't care about all the high-brow snobbery in the art world, and Thomas Kinkade knew that. He was like Norman Rockwell in that sense: he painted the world the way he wanted it to be, not necessarily how it was... just like Rockwell.
But there's another side to Mr Kinkade most don't even know about: his Plein Air work. Check out his plein air work to see the REAL Thomas Kinkade, what he painted when he painted for himself.
Yes, I have a soft spot for Mr Kinkade, even though some of his work could be called "too pretty" or predictable. However, it still has that glow, and usually makes me smile and is calming and peaceful. What's wrong with a little beauty in a world that at times can get ugly??
The man was not perfect, and stirred up his share controversy, made his share of mistakes. Who among us would want all our dirty laundry made public?? The man's dead. His family is grieving. Let's offer some compassion and kindness.
I, for one, give him credit for doing what most artists can't do: he made a great living from his art and supported his wife and children from said art. And along the way, made millions of collectors happy. I don't have a problem with that.
Rest in peace, Mr Kinkade.