I hate Thomas Kinkade. I despise his cobblestones, his sanctimonious capitalism, and the weasel-like moustache that sat on his pig-like face all the way through the nineties. I hate him. I hate him utterly. I hate him so much.
More than anything, of course, I hate his work.
I realise that thats a somewhat closed-minded comment, since millions of people adore and collect his work, hanging it from the walls of their homes, offices and churches, and yet, And Yet, yes, I know its weird, and wrong, and unfair, and yet, fact remains – I hate him.
Its the paintings that I hated first, I must admit. I only came to hate him roundly as a person later. But those paintings with their sugary nostalgia, or worse, this weird kind of fantasy nostalgia mixed with patriotism and oh I dont know, maybe I just dont get it because its not intended for me, not being a Merkin or a born-again Christian or something.
But it cant be right, can it? The eerie glow, like homes lit by the fires of hell. I look at these and cant decide whether to shudder or puke. I mean, you wouldnt want to do both at once. It would go everywhere. I hate the chocolateboxness. I hate the cut and paste nature of the composition. I hate the direct marketing approach to aesthetics – Its winter! Spray some fake snow on that piece of shit we floggedem last summer, and flog it to them again!
Still, this all goes to explain why I was overjoyed to hear that his business empire is flailing a little, in an article last Saturday (yes, Im running about a week behind with my posts, apologies). Because, in all seriousness, I find the sappiness of his art to be pure poison. It makes me fear for humanity, if all they want is the safe haven of nostalgia for a life that never has existed in a world that never has, and never could again.
But then I read this – about half way through the article.
Two former employees, Terry Sheppard and John Dandois, told the panel of further examples of Kinkades unpredictable behaviour: bringing disorder to a Las Vegas performance by the illusionists Siegfried and Roy by repeatedly yelling the word codpiece from his audience seat, and urinating in public – in an elevator and on a model of Winnie the Pooh at a Disneyland hotel. This ones for you, Walt, Mr Sheppard claimed the artist said as he did so.
And for some reason, I had a small, terrible sense of grudging respect for the guy. Because hes quite clearly, if these allegations are true, a fucktard, a fruitloop, and a man who knows when hes got to go. Still though, its alright, because
The artist – who once said of Picasso that he had talent but didnt use it in a significant way – has acknowledged that he went through a bad period.
And the fact that he has nevertheless created this highly successful and marketable image as a right-wing, highly-jeezicised all-round squeaky clean bloke is probably the greatest example of the mass gullibility of society since Scientology. Its an incredible coup.
Incredible. The whole thing, I find, now fills me with an unspeakable sense of nostalgia. I long for the world of Thomas Kinkade.
The world of Thomas Kinkade, where, down cobbled streets covered by a light dusting of snow, twenties-style taxis and 60s style harleys and horses and carriages rattle past theatres whose windows glow radioactively. Inside, people can still sit – good, honest, godly, people can sit. Sit and shout CODPIECE at camp magicians, before weeing on giant cardboard 2D bears.
Sadly, that day will never come again. Mainly becuase the magicians keep getting eaten by tigers. And I imagine someones moved that bear.
But still, we can have a club, cant we? Well all sit around, just quietly seething and occasionally bursting into anti-Kinkade tourettesque bursts. Involving the word Codpiece.