Artist Thomas Kinkade Dies

978-0-8223-4852-8_prPopular artist Thomas Kinkade, known as "the Painter of Light," died over the weekend. While many critics and curators have dismissed Kinkade as mere marketing kitsch, some art historians have argued that we need to take him seriously and consider his work as part of the broader history of American visual culture. In 2011, Alexis Boylan gathered a number of scholars together to explore Thomas Kinkade’s career, his artistic production, and its impact on contemporary art in the book Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall. Boylan told the Associated Press that Kinkade presented his art as value-driven and contrasted it with rap music and other forms of art that he was less fond of. "He saw his art as antagonistic towards other forms of artistic expression," she said. "He was very antagonistic towards modern and contemporary art." Boylan defended Kinkade's work to Pacific Standard magazine, arguing that he fits into an artistic tradition: "historically, a lot of art has been produced with the sole purpose of being beautiful and comforting, and giving people pleasure.” 

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