Thomas Kinkade Pulls a Jackson Pollock

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Thomas Kinkade, America's trademarked "painter of light," is best known for his Christian-themed work that sells like nobody's business. His popularity has even spawned furniture lines and he's said, "When I got saved, God became my art agent." According a lawsuit filed by former gallery owners, ex-employees, and the like, the Kink is acting less like a true believer and more like serial pisser Jackson Pollock:

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.

LA Times story here. Via Arts & Letters Daily.

Reason's Charles Paul Freund investigated Kinkade's lucrative cultural niche here.

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  1. So, what, he defrauded his investors by not disclosing to them that he’s a businessman? Or by not disclosing to them that he drinks? Or did he break some contract he had signed saying he would never cup a woman’s breast?

    “We were shocked, shocked! to learn he wasn’t really all that nice. We want our money back.”

    What does this fluff have to do with the lawsuits?

    Or is this just to point out that lawyers are scumbags?

  2. The search is over. We’ve found our LP candidate for 2008!

    Actually, I’ve always been a little contemptuous of Kinkade.? Now I think I like him 🙂

    ?Is Kink-Ade some sort of new drug to help old swingers keep their edge?

  3. Ha ha ha! Thomas Kinkade sucks. (I wish I had a wittier rejoinder.)

    He doesn’t even paint: he puts, like, one dot of paint on those mass-produced landscape and village images, right at the end of production.

  4. he’s said, “When I got saved, God became my art agent.”

    Generally speaking, the bigger the deal a guy makes about his religious faith, the more likely he is to be an ass the rest of the time.

  5. As the bumper sticker says: Jesus loves you. Evrybody else thinks you’re an asshole.

  6. The Painter of Light vs. Siegfried and Roy – now that’s entertainment!

  7. Sounds like he makes Reuben Kincade look pretty cool and hip.

  8. Here, smacky, use this:

    “Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Blight”.

  9. …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…

    I don’t know; If I made a career – nay, a fortune – selling worthless, mass-produced McLandscape art, I might have the same attitude. It must be hard to take the people who buy your artwork seriously, much less show any regard or respect for them. I have some sympathy for Thomas Kinkade for this reason.

  10. “Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Blight”.

    Careful now… the local ED goons will come and get your Kinkade for the “public good”…

  11. For the three or four H&R lurkers/posters who are not Something Awful aficionados, I give you this from a Photoshop Phriday past:

    http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=1918

    JMJ

  12. “Piss Pooh”?

    I suddenly have this vision of Kinkade dying in, say, forty years, and all of this radical, cutting edge art being found in his basement. Involving themes like Disney, urine, breasts, and Las Vegas magicians.

  13. …there is also this:
    http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=1928

    (Part two, from the following week.)

    JMJ

  14. You can say whatever you want about Kinkade as an artist or a human being, but if I were the ex-Nazi who can enter into a painting in the Night Gallery movie, I’d definitely make my home in one of those lovely Kinkade cottages.

  15. if I were the ex-Nazi who can enter into a painting in the Night Gallery movie, I’d definitely make my home in one of those lovely Kinkade cottages.

    I read that story in Serling’s Night Gallery book, Tim. You’d change your mind in a hurry if you knew what went on inside those cottages.

  16. So, what, he defrauded his investors by not disclosing to them that he’s a businessman? Or by not disclosing to them that he drinks? Or did he break some contract he had signed saying he would never cup a woman’s breast?

    Yeah, I didn’t really see in the article where he defrauded anybody. Although news articles about legal matters tend to be written by people who don’t always care about or focus on the key legal issues so much as the key pop cultural issues, which the LA Times writer meticulously catalogued then ticked off like bullet points.***

    Presumably, all that stuff about “he profited while the galleries failed” could be easily have been inferred by tbe gallery owners themselves, had they looked at their franchise agreements, which .. I’m going out on a limb here … probably contained provisions about things like “who gets how much money from each sale” and other little details about profits. Who knows. Maybe they didn’t. Maybe they all just had oral contracts because they were all so captivated by Kinkade’s magical aura of light that they simply took his word for everything and assumed they would all just live in a magic $50 million a year love bubble forever. This might explain, actually, why they’re so focused on his extracurricular actions, instead of their operating agreements.

    Eh, burn him anyway!!!!

    *** this is the same problem that plagued Olympic coverage. The writers were collectively aghast that there was nothing for them to write about except a bunch of lousy sporting events! They didn’t know what to do without Paris Hilton or Britney Spears or Terrell Owens or Barry Bonds for two weeks.

  17. You all are a bunch of snobs bashing TK.

    Yeah, so they sell his prints on QVC. So what?

    There are Kinkade coffee mugs, t-shirts, and hummel sets on sale at Walmart.

    What’s your point?

  18. What’s your point?

    The point I got from this is that he’s not the sweet guy his “Hooray for God and Christianity” persona might lead you to believe.

  19. Jennifer:

    Sure, he’s a sweet guy.

    Now, I recommend a little IC, and stare at a Kinkade print while listening to an Enya album all the way through.

    You will achieve total universal consciousness.

  20. I loved his non answer below. Urinating in a hotel elevator is impressive; not being able to recall the specific incident, but saying “Yeah, that sounds like me” is awesome.

    When pressed about allegedly relieving himself in a hotel elevator in Las Vegas, Kinkade said it might have happened.

    “There may have been some ritual territory marking going on, but I don’t recall it,” he said.

  21. Mr. Nice Guy, if there’s any interstate commerce in need of regulation, I will NOT waste the experience on a Thomas Kinkade painting.

    Cast not thy pearls before swine.

  22. “allegedly drunken Kinkade heckled illusionists Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas”

    Feel good story of the year. I guess Sieg (or Roy?) got over the tiger incident?

  23. This just in. Apparently Yanni just got pinched for domestic abuse:

    http://entertainment.tv.yahoo.com/entnews/ap/20060307/114175326000.html

    I think something is connecting all of this, like some sort of Davinci Code. All we need to do is put all the pieces together..

  24. Presumably, all that stuff about “he profited while the galleries failed” could be easily have been inferred by tbe gallery owners themselves, had they looked at their franchise agreements, which…probably contained…things like “who gets how much money from each sale” and other little details about profits.

    B-but, God is his art agent. So God probably put some mojo on those agreements. Disappearing ink, switching numbers and all.

    Sounds like an excellent start to a movie. “Bad Painter” starring Billy Bob Thornton.

  25. I think something is connecting all of this, like some sort of Davinci Code. All we need to do is put all the pieces together..

    I think I figured it out! All together now: when you make objectively bad art, and then lie to yourself and everyone else that it is good, then you are incompetent and will lead a miserable life.

    (I learned that at the Ayn Rand Montessori School for Gifted Children. :P)

  26. His apparent fondness for public urination makes his extensive use of yellow paint a tad suspicious, I think.

  27. Did you guys know he was a background artist on the animated Ralph Bakshi movie “Fire and Ice” along with James Gurney of “Dinotopia” fame?

    I dunno…Maybe I’m the only one here that finds that interesting.

  28. MayDay, I do find that interesting. I love odd little coincidences like that. Did you know that Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff lived next door to each other for the last years of Karloff’s life? They became quite good friends. This, of course, has nothing to do with Thomas Kincade, but what the heck?

  29. Whatis it about rich/eccentric guys peeing everywhere? This is not an isolated or particularly unusual phenomenon…there’s a great book I read once, called something like A Field Guide to the Rich and Famous, which is basically all about weird/miserable rich folk (the high falutin type, not the celebrity type), and he talked about an old English aristo who peed while talking to people in his house, while hunting, etc..supposedly it was a “fuck you, I’m lord of this here manor” kind of thing. But good lord – why pick that method for establishing your social primacy?

    And anyone who pees on Pooh is a monster.

  30. I was so disappointed when my mother said she liked his paintings. But it’s ok because she’s my mom. My dad, being the ever practical one, enjoys pointing out that no one would ever actually build those adorable cottages right down on the creek like they are always shown, since they would flood every year. That and the ridiculous amount of money you’d spend on candles lighting up your entire house like that every night.

  31. That and the ridiculous amount of money you’d spend on candles lighting up your entire house like that every night.

    That, and the odds that your little cottage would spontaneously burst into a mass of flames with all of those candles burning unattended.

  32. “I’d definitely make my home in one of those lovely Kinkade cottages.”

    Tim,

    Your dream is already a reality at “Hiddenbrooke.”

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/style/2002/03/18/kinkade_village/

  33. With great dower comes great imbecility.

  34. an allegedly drunken Kinkade

    If I had a beer for every time someone’s said that about me…

  35. I bought the original Dinotopia books when I was in college.

    Stunningly beautiful artwork.

  36. doods. he pissed on the pooh-meister

    tiggers are bouncy, and they will not be amused

    wild tigger rumpus to follow

    film @ 11

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