Thomas Kinkade Controversy: All you need to know

Thomas Kinkade Controversy


Do you want to know about the infamous Thomas Kinkade Controversy? Along with the controversies, here is all the info we have regarding one of the most controversial figures of all time. William Thomas Kinkade III was an American painter best known for his realistic, pastoral, and idyllic landscapes.

William is notable for his lifetime success in mass marketing his work as printed reproductions and licensed products through the Thomas Kinkade Company. According to Kinkade’s company, one of every twenty American homes had a copy of one of his paintings. 

Kinkade referred to his self as a “Painter of Light,” a trademarked phrase previously used to describe J. M. W. Turner, the English artist. 

Art critics criticized Kinkade’s behaviour and business practices. They labelled his work “kitsch”. Kinkade died at the age of 54 from “acute intoxication” from alcohol and the drug diazepam.

Early Life

William Thomas Kinkade was born in Sacramento County, California, on January 19, 1958. He grew up in Placerville and graduated from El Dorado High School in 1976 before attending the California University, Berkeley, and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

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Before college, Charles Bell and Glenn Wessels were among those who mentored and taught Kinkade.

Wessels pushed Kinkade to attend the University of California, Berkeley. Christmas Cottage is a semi-autobiographical film released in 2008. The film follows Kinkade’s relationship with Wessels. Kinkade transferred to the Pasadena Art Center College of Design after two years of general education at Berkeley.

Thomas Kinkade Controversy

Kinkade was a commercially successful painter in the 1990s, but art critics panned his work. The A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin called Kinkade’s paintings “a sickeningly, maudlin, sentimental vision of a world where everything is as calming as a warm cup of marshmallows on a cold December day.”

Soon after learning of Kinkade’s death in April 2012, author Susan Orlean dubbed him a “kitsch master.” Kinkade commercialized his art, for example, by selling his prints on the QVC home shopping network. He got a lot of flak and hate for this. In an interview in 2001, Kinkade said, “I am definitely the most controversial artist in the world.

Thomas Kinkade ControversyBusiness Dealings leading to Thomas Kinkade Controversy

Gallery owners accused Kinkade’s own company, Media Arts Group Inc., of deceptive business practices. The FBI was looking into these issues in August 2006. An arbitration board awarded Jeffrey Spinello and Karen Hazlewood $860,000 in damages and $1.2 million in fees and expenses in 2006. 

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Pacific Metro, the artist’s production company, declared bankruptcy in 2010 after failing to pay Karen Hazlewood and Jeffrey Spinello a $1 million court-ordered payment. During this time, Kinkade received $50 million. Former gallery owners also claimed that the company used Christianity to exploit people. “They definitely used the Christian hook,” one ex-dealer said.

Personal Interactions leading to Thomas Kinkade Controversy

Other artists and performers had accused Kinkade of cursing and heckling. According to the Los Angeles Times, he openly fondled a woman’s breasts at a sales event in South Bend, Indiana. He once urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, saying, “This one’s for you, Walt.” Kinkade stated in a letter to licensed gallery owners that accounts of the alcohol-related incidents were “highly exaggerated, and sometimes outright fabricated personal accusations.”

In 2006, John Dandois, a Media Arts Group executive, told a story about Kinkade getting drunk at a Siegfried & Roy magic show in Las Vegas and shouting “Codpiece! Codpiece!” at the performers. Thom Kinkade became inebriated during a Siegfried & Roy magic show in Las Vegas and began yelling at the performers, “Codpiece! Codpiece!” Kinkaid was driving under the influence of alcohol in June 2010 in Carmel, California. He was later arrested.

I hope we have satisfactorily answered your queries regarding the Thomas Kinkade Controversy. Stay Tuned for more!


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