|Thomas Kincade's Painting of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary|
The artist Thomas Kincade passed away suddenly yesterday at the very young age of 54. Kincade was born and lived for years a few miles up the road from where I now live. He's kind of a legend in these parts. Kincade might will have been the world's most popular artist. He was certainly among the wealthiest. The paintings and lithographs of Thomas Kincade did not hang in museums or galleries (unless he owned them), Kincades's works hung in the homes of people, everyday people who loved his "paintings of light". He billed himself as "the painter of light" because of the presence of some form of illumination in all of his work. But there have been "painters of light" for 500 years with reputations in artistic community that go far, far, beyond anything that Kincade ever did.
And Kincade found a way to mass market his works so people of all incomes could afford them. The original paintings were certainly expensive but there were lithographs, and posters, and right on down to post cards. If you really wanted a Kincade on your wall, you could have one.
Kincade struck a deal with Disney to produce artworks based on classic Disney films and theme park settings. These were enormously popular and profitable for both Kincade and Disney. These "artworks" are among high echelon of Disney collectibles. Even though I didn't have too much of a regard for Kincade and his assembly line art, I did like his Disney pieces. In a sense, Kincade's mass produced artworks are like the mass commercialism of corporate Disney but if you look at Kincade's Disney paintings they do evoke the Disney of Walt's dreams and imagination. Thomas Kincade did succeed at that.