Thomas Kinkade meets Star Wars.
Who is Thomas Kinkade?
“Thomas Kinkade (January 19, 1958 – April 6, 2012) was an American painter of popular realistic, bucolic, and idyllic subjects. He is notable for the mass marketing of his work as printed reproductions and other licensed products via The Thomas Kinkade Company. He characterized himself as “Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light,” a phrase he protected through trademark but one originally attributed to the English master J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). He was claimed to be “America’s most-collected living artist” before his death, with an estimated 1 in every 20 American homes owning a copy of one of his paintings
Kinkade’s works are sold by mail order and in dedicated retail outlets”
Kinkade painted the most kitchy, gaggable art you’ve ever seen. He was very out about his devoutness to Christianity, although his company’s business practices have been criticized heavily.
“Kinkade’s company, Media Arts Group Inc., has been accused of unfair dealings with owners of Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery franchises. In 2006, an arbitration board awarded Karen Hazlewood and Jeffrey Spinello $860,000 in damages and $1.2 million in fees and expenses due to Kinkade’s company “[failing] to disclose material information” that would have discouraged them from investing in the gallery. The award was later increased to $2.8 million with interest and legal fees. The plaintiffs and other former gallery owners have also leveled accusations of being pressured to open additional galleries that were not financially viable, being forced to take on expensive, unsalable inventory, and being undercut by discount outlets whose prices they were not allowed to match.
Former gallery dealers also charged that Kinkade uses Christianity as a tool to take advantage of people. “They really knew how to bait the hook,” said one ex-dealer who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They certainly used the Christian hook.” One former dealer’s lawyer stated, “Most of my clients got involved with Kinkade because it was presented as a religious opportunity. Being defrauded is awful enough, but doing it in the name of God is really despicable.”
The Los Angeles Times has reported that some of Kinkade’s former colleagues, employees, and even collectors of his work say that he had a long history of cursing and heckling other artists and performers. The Times further reported that he openly groped a woman’s breasts at a South Bend, Indiana, sales event, and mentioned his proclivity for ritual territory marking through urination, once relieving himself on aWinnie the Pooh figure at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim while saying “This one’s for you, Walt.” In a letter to licensed gallery owners acknowledging he may have behaved badly during a stressful time when he overindulged in food and drink, Kinkade said accounts of the alcohol-related incidents included “exaggerated, and in some cases outright fabricated personal accusations.” The letter did not address any incident specifically.
In 2006, John Dandois, Media Arts Group executive, recounted a story that on one occasion (“about six years ago”) Kinkade became drunk at a Siegfried & Roy magic show in Las Vegas and began shouting “Codpiece! Codpiece!” at the performers. Eventually he was calmed by his mother. Dandois also said of Kinkade, “Thom would be fine, he would be drinking, and then all of a sudden, you couldn’t tell where the boundary was, and then he became very incoherent, and he would start cussing and doing a lot of weird stuff.” In June 2010, Kinkade was arrested in Carmel, California, for driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was convicted.”
In any case, my point here isn’t to browbeat the guy personally, just give you some background.
So i introduce you to Jeff Bennet, an artist who has for some unholy and utterly awesome reason taken it upon himself to put Star Wars into Thomas Kinkade’s paintings.