ONTD Political

Painter Kinkade died of drug and alcohol overdose - report

4:42 pm - 05/08/2012

LOS ANGELES, May 7 (Reuters) - "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade died of accidental acute intoxication from alcohol and an anti-anxiety medication, according to autopsy report made
public on Monday by local NBC Bay Area TV.

The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office reported Kinkade's cause of death as "acute ethanol and Diazepam intoxication" and manner of death as "accident," according to the NBC station. Diazepam is the active ingredient in Valium.

A Santa Clara County Coroner's investigator confirmed to Reuters that the autopsy report on Kinkade had been completed but said he could not release it after business hours.

Kinkade, the self-proclaimed "Painter of Light," whose works captivated millions of Americans despite the scorn of many art critics, died in April at his home in Northern California at the
age of 54.

His brother told the San Jose Mercury News newspaper that the painter had battled alcoholism for several years and suffered a relapse before he died.

Patrick Kinkade said his brother had been burdened in recent years by a separation from his wife, financial troubles and the low opinion of his work by critics.

Thomas Kinkade was arrested for drunk driving in 2010, the same year his company filed for bankruptcy. Art galleries reported a surge in sales of Kinkade's paintings following his


He was a terrible artist, and even worse a schemer taking the money of naive would-be art investors and even honest dealers, so don't feel too bad for him.
bmh4d0k3n 8th-May-2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah. People who aren't that studied in the art world gravitate toward easily-recognizable, instantly appealing works, such as houses that look like a sun is contained entirely within their living rooms. It's the same with fonts -- average people pick Comic Sans and Papyrus over and over again for use in awkward contexts.
evilgmbethy 8th-May-2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
which is fine, really. Not everyone needs to be an art critic. it does smack a little to me of elitism when people rag so hard on his stuff. I mean, it's a harmless thing if people like a painting, cool off lol. When I worked at Barnes & Noble it was mostly like, nice old ladies who would come in looking for his calendars and stuff, I always thought it was kind of cute.
bmh4d0k3n 8th-May-2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Right. I tend to be a snob, so I try very hard to use more neutral language, because people are going to like what they're going to like. If that brings them joy, so be it. I'm a fan of educating people and showing them there's more out there than, say, Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, but there's not necessarily something colossally wrong with ALW musicals themselves ... mostly, lol.
meran_flash 9th-May-2012 05:30 am (UTC)
but there's not necessarily something colossally wrong with ALW musicals themselves

lbr, yes there is.
mercat 9th-May-2012 07:08 am (UTC)
haha, I love this comment. I was surprised when I liked Woman in White, but I refuse to even listen to Love Never Dies because the story is just so appalling.
rex_dart 8th-May-2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
I don't really think it's elitist to rag on mass-produced pictures with dabs of paint smeared on made by an assembly line that people try to pass off as legit paintings. If you wanna make a shitload of real art, it's called printmaking, and it requires actual time and talent.

I also don't really think it's elitist to rag on this:

Because holy fucking shit. If that's beyond criticism you might as well hang some kid's refrigerator art in the Louvre.
maclyn 8th-May-2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
Oh dear god
etherealtsuki 8th-May-2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
Because holy fucking shit. If that's beyond criticism you might as well hang some kid's refrigerator art in the Louvre.

You mean 80% abstract art that might be already. Art critics really lost credit with me that. Not all abstract art is bad but way too many are too bullshitable.

This man's art is just bland as hell, but it isn't bad.
chaya 9th-May-2012 01:30 am (UTC)
The fact that the art was used in a manufacturing-line style swindling scheme to mooch off naive old folks and art galleries is what makes it so much worse than just "kitsch I don't like". If the art he made was completely divorced from the context of how he sold it and tricked people I'd probably be a lot more ambivalent about it.
vanillakokakola 9th-May-2012 02:55 am (UTC)
his art isn't bad like twilight is quality contemporary fiction

Edited at 2012-05-09 02:55 am (UTC)
sarahbeez 12th-May-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
lol do you have any idea what 'abstract art' actually is

and no, abstract art is not in the louvre, because the lourve only contains art up until the end of the 18th century, roughly. jfc if you're going to rag on a whole huge genre of art, have some idea wtf you're talking about.
bmh4d0k3n 9th-May-2012 12:28 am (UTC)
Sweet Grandma Moses. Someone with a working knowledge of perspective should really know better.

Then again, things get really dicey when you get into concept art (like Duchamp's Fountain, naturally) and kitsch ... what if it's ironically appealing? That painting is so ridiculous it could be a parody, but then, there's no evidence he was joking.

Fwiw, it's interesting to compare earlier paintings of his with the more famous ones:


alierakieron 9th-May-2012 12:53 am (UTC)
I don't think it's elitist to criticize his art as art. I do think it's elitist to say really shitty things about his fans because they like his art, and there's been a lot of that going around.
sankaku_atama 9th-May-2012 01:26 am (UTC)
Of COURSE that painting is beyond criticism! AMURRIKA NASCAR FUCK YEAH!

[/sarcasm, just in case]
beokitty 9th-May-2012 03:09 am (UTC)
It's telling that the piece you chose to represent his work isn't representative of his typically pastoral themes. The piece you chose does, however, depict things that are generally associated with a lower SES. That is why some people consider this type of criticism of Kincaid elitist - he paints for the common man & the common man likes his work.

It goes back to Formalism and the idea that it's not just the way something makes you *feel* but must also challenge the intellect or uses clever/unique use of the medium. I order to be able to recognize some of those clever techniques you've got to be well educated in the media, which requires specialized education/knowledge: "ew, Kincaid? I totes more sophisticated/knowledgable etc. than to like his work" when in fact his stuff is pretty benign.
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