Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thomas Kinkade, Painter of...Bears?

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Just when my estimation of Thomas Kinkade, America's most beloved, bestselling artist, hit what I assumed was rock bottom, this LA Times article crosses my desk. Though Kincade denies the numerous allegations being made against him in various courts, judges usually disagree. Legal battles aside for the moment, the highlight of the article bears - bad pun - quotation.
"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."
Years ago, my father, an ardent Disneyphobe, stood up in a movie theater after viewing "Bambi" and proclaimed, "Thank God Walt Disney's dead!" Not surprisingly, many fellow movie goers were horrified. Fortunately, now that I know Kinkade, God's #1 brush man, waves his wand over Walt's creations, I feel a little better about my pops' chances of getting past St. Peter at the pearly gates.

Anyway, the article is fascinating if you are at all interested in a contemporary American icon. For my part, as someone who grew up on a Virginia farm, I admire Kinkade's Pooh defense.
"In a deposition, the artist alluded to his practice of urinating outdoors, saying he 'grew up in the country' where it was common. 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."
Let's call it the Rural Reagan Defense. I'll use it next time the fuzz catches me pissing in the subway.

Photo credit: lifted from


Bill Gusky said...

Very revealing: Kincade showers an insipid insult on the one entity he knows he can never outdo in the sickeningly saccharine arena of visual "magic."

Jackson Pollock used to throw down every time he realized he'd never catch up to his foundational inspiration, Picasso.

Take the Kincade story, replace Kincade with Pollock, replace urination with brick-throwing, replace Pooh with bar windows, replace Disney with Picasso, and replace nauseating fairy tale wall puke with the masterworks that changed art itself, and I think you'll find that, really, these are two entirely different situations.

But I could be wrong.

Michael said...

Maybe Pooh is in to that.
Just sayin'.

Devo said...

i feel a little vindicated by this story. It offers a glimmer of hope that the criminal who has been mercilessly raping my eyeballs with pastel doggy doo for so many years might eventually see the inside of a jail cell. Or at least a symbolic fine and a vigorous slap on the limp wrist. Whatever, Eff kincade and his zombie dickweed fanbase.