America's Most Popular Artist Heads to Heaven | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

News

America's Most Popular Artist Heads to Heaven

by

Published April 8, 2012 at 9:58 a.m.


America's most popular — and richest — artist died in California on Friday at age 54. But unless you're an aficionado of kitsch, you may not have been familiar with Thomas Kinkade. He made many, many millions by painting pictures that deftly catered to mass tastes but caused outbreaks of aesthetic hives in those who look to art for something more than syrupy sweetness, corny theatrics and unnatural scenes of rural bliss.

The Middlebury College Museum of Art presented a sampling of Kinkade's work in 2009, with curators proceeding from the premise that his popularity warranted thoughtful appraisal. The nonjudgmental approach did help illuminate the reasons why the self-styled "painter of light" was so successful in market terms. But Kinkade, who actually functioned more as a corporation than as an individual creator, was a terrible painter in the ways that matter most. The organizers of the Middlebury show surely knew that, and their unwillingness to say it seemed disingenuous.

Image courtesy of Middlebury College Museum of Art for Seven Days' review of "Making Sense of Thomas Kinkade."

 

Speaking of Blurt

Tags

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

 

Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.