Jim A.

Admiration of Kinkade; a cultural barometer

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Painter Thomas Kinkade has just passed away, as you've probably heard.

His work--which I don't admire--can stand for something rather discouraging in the culture. Many people love his paintings. They are representational, and he was a skillful painter (though he was no Michelangelo, Vermeer or Rubens as a creator of art). But what do his paintings represent, ultimately?

When I see his paintings of country cottages, I sometimes think: "Yes, I would probably like living in a place like that." But only as long as I wasn't too far from a major city, and I had the same machines, appliances and gadgets that I have in my present home. I suspect the reason so many people love Kinkade's work is that they long to live in some "simpler time" in the past, where they could simply live out their days sitting by the fireplace in a Kinkade style house, drinking hot chocolate, and never have to struggle to keep up with the world or with technology (of course, they would have to struggle to keep up and maintain more immediate things, like food in the kitchen/pantry, firewood in their beloved fireplace, fuel for their car--or hay for their horses--etc., let alone insuring they have access to good medical care, however primitive and non-technological). They would be "safe," warm and comfy in such a house, and would never have to risk anything by stepping out of it into the world.

I see Kinkade's work as anti-modern-world and anti-industry.

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Painter Thomas Kinkade has just passed away, as you've probably heard.

His work--which I don't admire--can stand for something rather discouraging in the culture. Many people love his paintings. They are representational, and he was a skillful painter (though he was no Michelangelo, Vermeer or Rubens as a creator of art). But what do his paintings represent, ultimately?

When I see his paintings of country cottages, I sometimes think: "Yes, I would probably like living in a place like that." But only as long as I wasn't too far from a major city, and I had the same machines, appliances and gadgets that I have in my present home. I suspect the reason so many people love Kinkade's work is that they long to live in some "simpler time" in the past, where they could simply live out their days sitting by the fireplace in a Kinkade style house, drinking hot chocolate, and never have to struggle to keep up with the world or with technology (of course, they would have to struggle to keep up and maintain more immediate things, like food in the kitchen/pantry, firewood in their beloved fireplace, fuel for their car--or hay for their horses--etc., let alone insuring they have access to good medical care, however primitive and non-technological). They would be "safe," warm and comfy in such a house, and would never have to risk anything by stepping out of it into the world.

You don't know what the person thinks when they see a beautiful country cottage, nor do you know (simply from seeing these paintings) what this artist had in motivation. When I look at them I see cozy homes in an idealized country setting. Being raised in the country and preferring that to the city, I appreciate the painting. There is no justification for projecting these kinds of negative motivations onto others.

There's also no justification to projecting your aesthetic tastes onto others, or to assume that all Objectivists like the same thing. I don't enjoy cities, as I find them suffocating and boring. I enjoy the sight of wide open country more than that of a skyline. Am I anti-modern world and anti-industry?

I see Kinkade's work as anti-modern-world and anti-industry.

You do realize he has an entire series of painting about the Indy 500, right?

http://www.thomaskin...nr&abbr=indy500

"As I painted my tribute to this amazing race, I was moved by the imprint of time on this event. I wondered at the thrill of viewing the race at track level where each of these amazing warriors would engage in the challenge of winning this epic race. I paid tribute to a century of competitors with yesteryears car racing against today's elegant machines. Along the track, the smoke and dust reminiscent of 100 years of racing billows as cars round the oval towards the renowned-checkered flag. Adjacent to the track, fans spanning generations and attired in appropriate garb, gather collectively willing their champions to victory all the while feeling the sonic impact of each lap and wincing at the roar of passing cars. In the horizon, sunlight gently adorns the clouds as sun approvingly sets on this year's coronation of Indy's latest champion...what a legacy is this greatest of races. Kudos, Indy for 100 years of thrills slowly and annually acquiescing to the storied checkered flag!"

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I love Kinkade's paintings. He brings color that's there to brighter life. His view of the world is one of charm.

Did not know of his Indy 500 paintings. Thanks, Carlos.

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