Wednesday, March 08, 2006

40 Days of Lent - Day Eight

Religious Hypocrite Of The Month

No, it's not George Bush. He was last month's, and the month's before, and before that...

It's Thomas Kincaide, bad painter, bad person.

from the LA Times:

Dark Portrait of a 'Painter of Light'
Christian-themed artist Thomas Kinkade is accused of ruthless tactics and seamy personal conduct. He disputes the allegations.
By Kim Christensen, Times Staff Writer
March 5, 2006

Thomas Kinkade is famous for his luminous landscapes and street scenes, those dreamy, deliberately inspirational images he says have brought "God's light" into people's lives, even as they have made him one of America's most collected artists.

A devout Christian who calls himself the "Painter of Light," Kinkade trades heavily on his beliefs and says God has guided his brush — and his life — for the last 20 years.

"When I got saved, God became my art agent," he said in a 2004 video biography, genteel in tone and rich in the themes of faith and family values that have helped win him legions of fans, albeit few among art critics.

But some former Kinkade employees, gallery operators and others contend that the Painter of Light has a decidedly dark side.

In litigation and interviews with the Los Angeles Times, some former gallery owners depict Kinkade, 48, as a ruthless businessman who drove them to financial ruin at the same time he was fattening his business associates' bank accounts and feathering his nest with tens of millions of dollars.

Kinkade — whose solely owned Thomas Kinkade Co. is based in Morgan Hill, Calif. — denies these allegations.

Last month, however, a three-member panel of the American Arbitration Assn. ordered his company to pay $860,000 for defrauding the former owners of two failed Virginia galleries. That decision marks the first major legal setback for Kinkade, who won three previous arbitration claims. Five more are pending.

It's not just Kinkade's business practices that have been called into question. Former gallery owners, ex-employees and others say his personal behavior also belies the wholesome image on which he's built his empire.

In sworn testimony and interviews, they recount incidents in which an allegedly drunken Kinkade heckled illusionists Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas, cursed a former employee's wife who came to his aid when he fell off a barstool, and palmed a startled woman's breasts at a signing party in South Bend, Ind.

And then there is Kinkade's proclivity for "ritual territory marking," as he called it, which allegedly manifested itself in the late 1990s outside the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

"This one's for you, Walt," the artist quipped late one night as he urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure, said Terry Sheppard, a former vice president for Kinkade's company, in an interview.

(article continues here)


Kalli "Pops" Gustav said...

Yes, Kinkade's art is awful, Yes, he's endemic of so many awful things about our culture, Yes, he's a hypocrite (but, as you know, I think 99.9% of all Christians are hypocrites).... but anyone who'd symbolically piss on Walt Disney can't be all bad.

Carol said...

See, now I was gonna say the same thing, except "... but anyone who'd heckle Siegfried & Roy can't be all bad."

Julie said...

You may not know this, but TK never sells his orgional paintings. He onlys sells prints, but the signatures on the prints are impregnated with " genetic material" of the artist. So if he's marking his own work that way, I guess he feels it's only natural to want to "mark" other people's.

the hanged man said...

It was the heckling Siegfreid and Roy that made me laugh. After all, who hasn't peed on Winnie the Pooh at some point in their life?

The impregnating with genetic material is just creepy, mainly because that means that some future society may decide to clone and rebuild Kinkade...