Cozy Cottage or House on Fire? Thomas Kinkade’s Theo-Aesthetic Legacy


Kinkade challenged the high-brow haughtiness of the art world, grew rich in the process, and seemed to fumble around, rock-star like, with drinking and bad behavior. Liberals scoffed at the hypocrisy of yet another social-religious conservative who can’t live up to a decent set of moral standards, while his mass-produced images were hugely loved, especially by evangelical Christians who felt that here, finally, was an artist for them. He called himself the “Painter of Light” and then trademarked the phrase. He includes a Christian fish (icthus) above his signature—but he’s also alleged to have urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure at Disneyland, among other socially unacceptable activities.  

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