Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002
art patron and collector I'm stunned at what Thom Kinkade is doing
to the blind christian right who spend their money on his trash.
Thom sell prints of paintings as collectible items when in fact
the numbers are so high that they will never realize any real
value. Some editions run 4,000 in number (PER SIZE) ..... so a
single painting may be printed in 4 different sizes and each size
will have a "limited edition" of at least 4,000. Reputable artists
like Shavaiko and G. Harvey limit their reproductions to around
300 to 500. Any representation that there is any value in Kinkade's
prints is outright fraud. These works are not even signed by a
human being, they are signed by a machine.
has made himself the self appointed art god. If he personally
signs a print, he calls it an artist proof, limits it to a 100
or 50 and tries to sucker $5,000 or more from an art buyer. If
he personally highlights the print (the process of slapping real
paint on top of a print to make it look real) the he limits those
to 20 or 30 and asks $50,000 for them.
the emperior has no clothes and when the public realizes this
he will sink faster than a Russian sub. What makes the whole Kinkade
sharade criminal, is that fact that he pitches Christian beliefs
and faith on the shopping channel and in literature to con the
Chrisitan right into buying off on his brand of religious hype.
According to Kinkade, "You wanna get to heaven? Then buy my prints
because I'm a Christian spreading the peaceful faith through my
art and you should support me."
reminds me of the money changers in the temple who had their tables
turned over and had themselves thrown out of the temple by Jesus.
Although not in a temple or church, he certainly stands at the
front door like a street vendor, hawking his sudo-Christian wares
to anyone weak enough to belive his phoney message.
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 14:36:52 -0600
of your newsletters in the last year talked at length about the
lack of religious/Christian art that is being created in our modern
world. I believe you centered on the lack of MASTERS, such as
Michalangelo. As an artist, your observations have really stuck
with me since then and I've constantly looked for good Christian
Subject: Newsletter 27
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001
From: One o' da Butsons
I understand you frustration with the Christian culture and its
obsession with "turning back the clock" to a more innocent time.
It's perfectly understandable, yet Ecclesiastes 7:10 states
say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?"
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this."
advice about too much nostalgia, eh? Thomas Kinkade's work is
attractive, but it does indeed is completely absent of conflict
or evidence of sin in the world. A recent CD issue of Mars Hill
audio discussed this very issue with a Christian art professor
(I can't find my copy to give you the exact information) and the
conversation hit on exactly the problem I have with the "movement"
of this kind of art. You would find this discussion very insightful
for this subject. IN his work, there's no grace neither evidence
of a NEED for grace. Art that proclaims Christian truth will somehow
have the theme of sin salvation and redemption woven through it.
issues with Thomas Kinkade may be picky, but here goes. . .He
has the TRADEMARK of "Painter of Light", which tells me there's
some market-driven thought going on here. There are numerous storefronts
in malls with his name on them as outlets for not only prints
but calendars, journals, nightlights, plates, but even books.
He joins the many Christians in the marketplace who are making
a name and market for themselves all in the name of "influencing
the culture for Christ". I find the whole thing rather sickening,
Yes, I do
listen to Christian radio, but for the teaching that's Biblical
and nourishing to my soul. Otherwise, my daughter and I are "embracing
the oldies" for some fun (vintage Michael Jackson to dance to)
and out there with friends and neighbors in our town. The goal?
For God to use us as He sees fit in our circle of friends and
family. We don't have time to get too nostalgic about much of
anything right now!!!!
Marie from OH
Thank you for your comments. Dancing with friends as evangelism.
Involvement with your daughter. Hmm. I think I like this. Blessings
on you. -David
Subject: Kinkade Newsletter_27
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001
I don't think of Kinkade as a Christian painter...it's just nice
scenes or remote places...nothing inspiring or spiritual at all.
Now, let's take a look at William Hallmark's work of the lions...WOW...talk
about looking at a painting with meaning for the Christian....
We have both
the "Lion" pictures. One depicts the Lion of the Tribe of Judah
with a crown of thorns and a nail mark in his paw. The other depicts
the Lion with a Crown and the keys to the kingdom in his mouth.
A four year old was in our house and he and his grandfather were
looking at the paintings. The four year old looked first at the
painting of the lion with thorns and the blood drops. He pointed
and said, "Broken." Then he looked at the picture of the lion
with the crown and the keys and said, "Fixed." This is powerful
Christian art. It spoke directly to the four year old child and
it speaks to everyone who enters our home and sees them. As for
Kinkade, his work is lovely, but it speaks of nothing spiritual
FROM CULTURE /MYTH OF VICTORIAN AGE
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001
From: Tim Balzer
I agree that
the church has a nostalgic longing for the past (the 50's and
Victorian period). This is seen not only in Kincaide's paintings
but also in the Christian novel industry whose books are overwhelmingly
set in the past or in the science fiction realms of "spiritual
warfare" and "Armageddon" novels. Evangelical and Fundamentalist
Christians long for another time, for a "golden age". In many
ways the Victorian period 1837-1901 was that "golden age". I do
not disagree with the statistics regarding Victorian morality
that you quote, there was sin and injustice in the Victorian period.
However, it was a time when a worldview, greatly influenced by
evangelical Protestants, predominated. Yes there was immorality,
but it was called immorality, and was not seen as something to
be "celebrated". There were great social reform movements in Britain,
the USA, and Canada against slavery, against exploitation of the
poor and child labour, the rights of women, the temperance movement
(alcohol was seen as one of the chief causes of wife beating).
Evangelicals and their teachings were influential in them all.
Today Evangelicals long for the past days when we seemed to matter,
before modernity "cast us down from our cultural heights". What
was left of the evangelical mind was buried by the Fundamentalist
movement. We can still seem to make great noises at the grass
roots level, but we seem to be unable to touch the mind of our
present age. It is only natural that we long for our age of past
greatness. However, we seem to have forgotten that what was achieved
back then was by being on the cutting edge of politics, social
reform, scholarship, and culture. Wishing for the golden age and
living in nostalgia will not bring it back.
Subject: Kincade Newsletter_27
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001
From: L Pashuk
Do we try
to replace communion time with Christ by hanging pictures of lovely
gardens and quiet places on our walls? In our fast paced bit-sized
consumer society, it's easier to hang a picture on our wall than
to actually enter into a "garden" experience as Christ did in
His time on earth. I think Christ's followers sense a need for
communing with Him, while at the same time not wanting to pay
the price. Christ both entered His world, and withdrew to be with
the Father alone.
INTERESTING AND GOOD CRITIQUE
Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001
I am in agreement
with everything u stated re Kinkade. However, as a Jew seeking
enlightenment in Christianity -- I never even thought of Kincade's
work as being religious.
When I look
at Kincade, it is for escapism. His work reminds me of beautiful
Children's illustrations from the fairy tale books of the 1950s.
I even see some psychedelic color shading and dimensions that
are very interesting. I do not look to Kincade to stimulate.
That is the
bottom line for many of his followers -- escape from the stress
of our day to day world which is very difficult. We all need a
day at Disneyland once in a while. During the 1930s the screen
gave us those extraordinary Busby Berkley films to escape the
depression. We need to be reminded of beauty and peace in this
time of dysfunctional family and war.
So, yes, I
agree with you -- the Christian movement perhaps will one day
give us an artist who will stimulate Christians into whatever
proactivity they feel inclined to. Does it really matter that
Kincade, who I understand is ready to retire, concerned himself
with this peaceful, beautiful follies?
Thanks for the your wonderful thoughts and God bless you. -David
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001
I believe that some of the reason that the cutlure suffers is
what Franky Schaeffer outlined in his book "Addicted to Mediocrity:"
The Church tried to contain the arts inside a stained glass box
and when artists would not play according to the prescribed formula,
they were thought of as "evil" or "heathen." That said, I have
some Thomas Kindkaide paintings in my home. I appreciate his use
of light, and the hard work it took to acquire the skill. But
Mort Kuntsler (sp?) Civil War paintings have the same impact and
took the same talent. So do works by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso
and Norman Rockwell. Music by Bach can inspire but so can Jimi
Hendrix (has anyone ever really figured out all those riffs?).
Genius is genius. C-S Lewis talked about the evil being in the
heart of the viewer not the object viewed. God said HE had given
Bezalel and Oholiab wisdom and skill and filled them with the
Spirit of God so they could work in gold, and silver, and wood,
and precious stones, and cloth and all kinds of textiles. Who
do you think they were doing that for before the exodus? Idol-worshipping
Egyptians. Interesting huh?
newsletter 27- Kinkade
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001
From: "Steven Kozar"
bringing up the subject of Thomas Kinkade. I'm a professional
fine artist, and have been so for 15 years now. Among my friends
and business relations in the real world of art, Thomas Kincade
is esteemed only for his ability to amass profound amounts of
money. He is not seen as a serious painter who is actually contributing
anything to the world of art and culture. His sucess is the direct
result of a bigger pile of money being thrown at marketing than
has ever been thrown before. Usually, one builds a reputation
and career in the art business over a long period of time. Usually,
an artist receives recognition from other members of the art world;
museum directors, curators, writers and reviewers, as well as
fellow artists. Kincade has skipped past much of the traditional
process and was fortunate enough to hook up with some business
partners who had always been interested in promoting a single
artist like crazy. He is the "brand name" of the giant Media Arts
Group, Inc. To most Americans he is seen as a nice family man
who just found himself fabulously rich and famous. I'm sure he
is a nice family man, but he became rich and famous because of
savy and relentless marketing. There is a gaping hole in the understanding
of art in the minds of most consumers.Kincade has stepped in to
fill this void. His trademark is the "Painter of Light", so most
people think he actually is . That's like being a singer and calling
yourself the "Singer of Notes", or being the "Chef of Food". If
people understood something about painting they would reject Kincade's
crass commercialisation. As it is, they spend hundreds of millions
of dollars on over-priced art, most of it prints. It's discouraging,
as an artist, to spend a month on a painting that sells for the
same amount as a reproduction that the artist never touched. Most
discouraging, however, is when Kincade promotes his work amoung
Christians and he is given complete literary control over what
is said (and not said) in Christian magazines. He avoids all talk
of the aesthetic value of his work, and explains his vast fortune
by saying "God is my agent". Although I appreciate giving glory
to God, I believe Kincade would prefer that most people remain
ignorant of the huge corporate engine driving his career. I am
not an angry, jealous artist. Okay, so maybe I'm a little bit
jealous.Seriously, I've got a number of Christian artist friends
who, like me, have a growing reputation in the art world, and
we respect each others work a great deal. I just sold three paintings
last month for about $11,000 so I'm not a starving artist ( at
least not this month). If anyone's interested in seeing some really
good paintings check out my friend Morgan Weistling at www.morganweistling.com,
or Scott Christensen at www.christensenstudio.com.
My own site( not complete yet) is www.stevenkozar.com.
Thanks for letting me vent a bit.
You are welcome. -David
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2001
From: Ken in Lowell
I think your being unnecessarily hard on isolationists, as you
see them. Apparently in your world view we have only two choices,
clean fingernails, or a missionary zeal for the culture. The problem
for me is that both you and Kinkaide blur your ideals. Honest,
conflicted Christians who are trying to live by Proverbs 4:23-27
and Christ's command to go into the world (but not to be part
of it according to Paul) are hopefully helped by your black and
white world and Kinkaide's mellow renderings. Christ would have
certainly walked Hollywood and Vine, but he would also have isolated
himself in the hills and deserts to be refreshed, find peace and
be close to His Father. I suspect you have experienced the same
doubt and insecurity about whether you are doing God's will in
your web site as the rest of us in our less visible endeavors.
I wish you God's peace. Kinkaid paints pictures, you run a big
web site, both of you are doing it ostensibly for God. Motives,
in all contexts, form the narrow Way.
Ken in Lowell
Thanks, I appreciate your grace. I think Matthew 28:19 and Proverbs
4:23-27 are in perfect harmony. -David
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001
It is right
for Christians to avoid what is wrong. Example..pornography, filthy
language, criminal activities, etc etc. We should never separate
ourselves from people altogether. There is no question that seeing
and hearing profanity, violence, immoral sex, etc. has a negative
effect on people, of all ages. So it is very wise to avoid books,
movies, tv, and people that are filled with these things. We should
never disconnect from people or society. Jesus said to preach
the good news to every person. He said His followers are the light
of the world. In the world, but not of the world. We shoud live
free in Jesus, love people genuinely, and share Jesus with them,
never condemning or pressuring anyone. What we 'take in' has great
impact on our lives. So, to avoid much of the trash that Hollywood
puts out is VERY WISE INDEED. Wanna see something good?
Go see Megiddo.
Megiddo? Good? -David
IS NO PROBLEM..
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001
From: george woodward
making something out of nothing. The artist paints beautiful pictures.
Period. Your 'definition' of his work is totally void of reality.
It is a painting...a pretty painting. It hangs on a wall. It does
not tell the story of Christianity. Jesus did that very well,
as do those who truly believe in Him. Jesus is God. He came to
the Earth. Was born of a virgin. Was crucified at the age of 33.
He shed His precious blood for all of mankind. And on the 3rd
day, He rose from the dead. He is now seated at the right hand
of God the Father. The Holy Spirit, Who is the third Person of
the Trinity, is in the Earth, drawing all people to Jesus through
the preaching of the good news!! Jesus still saves, heals, delivers,
and sets totally free, all those who put their faith in Him. His
blood alone cleanses from sin! And He loves all people. But it
is not multiple choice. We must come to God through Jesus. Jesus
is THE ONLY way to Heaven, to salvation. Jesus is Life. A PRETTY
PICTURE IS JUST THAT. IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO TELL THE GREAT
NEWS OF JESUS!!!
Sincerely, george woodward
So what does your creedal statement have to do with your point?
SIDES TO EVERY COIN
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001
there are 2 sides to every coin, and life is inevitably like that
(i.e., 9-11-01 is both an attack of Satan as well as a type of
judgement from God), so it is with art, films, tv...and, guess
what, reality! Every day beauty and crap! (excuse my French)
paintings, while colorful and 'pretty' in their own way, do not
impress me like a Monet, Bouguereau, or Da Vinci, and yes, they
are devoid of anything challenging, but that's the other side
of the proverbial coin, sometimes we need a little escapism in
our lives to be able to deal with real life. Thanks for the critique.
I sort of understand the comparison, because I volunteer some
time each week in an inner city ministry to children, but I live
in the so-called beautiful suburbs, so I know the meaning of both.
Good insight. Remember Paul's words, learn to be content in feast
or famine (Phillipians 4:11, 12). Again, thanks for your reviews...
Long live the king! Frodo lives!
And the True and Living God is still awesome!
I am glad you a person who is involved with others! -David