When you look at these kitschy paintings, you feel a great sense of relief, calmness, tranquility, and relaxation. The sensory information eventually overwhelms your brain so much with these feelings that your neurons turn off and you become a zombie that can only repeat to yourself, “I wish I could live there,” “Oh, that’s so beautiful and cute,” and “I’ve gotta buy this calendar for Grandma.”
Yes, you have been duped by artist Thomas Kinkade. I apologize, I should correct myself. He describes himself not as an artist, but as the “Painter of Light.”
Some Background Information: The Painter of Light wasn’t born with this prestigious title. He was just an ordinary man who painted until he became a born-again Christian. After being converted, Kinkade stated, “God became my art agent” –and so began his journey using religious themes in his art that zapped the neurons out of so many innocent Americans.
Don’t get me wrong, the Painter of Light can paint. He does create very detailed paintings that awe and inspire many people. But if you can get God as your art agent, then you’re pretty much set for life. That is, until I read the newspaper this morning.
The Twist: It turns out that the Painter of Light only became friends with Jesus to help persuade people into feeling that they could trust him due to his religious affiliations. How I see it: Friends with Benefits.
The Scandal: The Painter of Light has been charged with fraud and owes $2.1 million to two former art gallery owners (the two owners became a married couple). According to the couple, they had been “lied to and cheated and broken, and are broke because of the deceit they endured at the hands of Thomas Kinkade.” What? At the hands of Jesus’ BFF? Mind-boggling!
Long Story Short:
Turns out the Painter of Light used his religion as a way to create a business relationship with the couple. The gallery owners were convinced that they were going to help “in spreading the light… [and that] their business was blessed.”
As a result, The Painter of Light had the gallery owners sell Kinkade paintings at a minimum retail price. What the couple didn’t know was that the Painter of Light would also sell the same paintings on cable television at a discount price. Scandalous!
In Other Words:
Because the Painter of Light was selling his paintings cheaper than the art gallery owners, he was able to sell more of his paintings. Thus, the art gallery owners went out of business and have taken the Painter of Light to court.
My Notes to Jesus: I’m sorry, Jesus. Nobody saw this coming. I guess a celebrity, such as yourself, has to be careful because you never know who will exploit your friendship.
For more information on the story:
Egelko, B. (2009, June 18). Damages for gallery owners reinstated against Kinkade. San Francisco Chronicle.