Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thomas Kinkade's hellish surrealist landscapes

If there are kids around, I'd suggest not reading this post until after they're in bed, since the sight of these horrible graphic images might upset them, and scar them for life.

Upon close examination, Kinkade’s rural dystopias appear to possess the following common themes:

1) Hellish glow seen emanating from every closed window to every sealed-up cottage, clocktower, inn, horse barn, church, etc. All of Kinkade’s structures seem consumed from within by raging infernos. What might be laughed off as artistic excess suddenly trickles icily down your spine when you realize that Kinkade’s rustic incinerators are operating at full tilt regardless of the time of day, prevailing weather conditions, and the particular season depicted in the painting!

2) All of his structures bear multiple chimneys that are exhaling thin, vertically-stretched spires of exhaust smoke which are indicative of extremely hot fires within, and of virtually no air movement without. Again, these chimneys are operating in all seasons and weather conditions. Why are the fires burning so hotly all the time? What’s cooking? You don’t want to know!

3) There is an inexplicable absence of people, despite the presence of livestock, abandoned agricultural implements, raging chimney fires, what have you. In Kinkade’s peaceful landscapes, it seems as if a sort of aestheticically-directed neutron bomb had detonated, leaving standing only the charming buildings, bucolic beasts and majestic landscape...



Anonymous said...

Just as scary are some of the comments under that review.


Zach said...


Sue Sims said...

I would hesitate to generalise and say that Americans more often lack appreciation of irony than the British (I don't know about Canadians) - I know plenty of Americans who 'get' satire. Nevertheless, it's notable how often satirical pieces on the Net attract comments from Americans who take the writing at face value and are scandalised. Most of the comments on this witty article illustrate this literalism only too well: some are shocked that the writer sees evil in Kincade's pictures, others (even more astoundingly) actually agree that Satan Lurks beneath these chocolate-box-style images.

I am, of course, assuming that the writer was intending to satirise the propensity of critics to see hidden meanings and subtle implications in art (of any sort) which may not be worth the analysis - but of course, I could be the one missing the point, and assuming irony where none is present.

Teresa B. said...

I just checked my 2 dimensional T.K. plastic placemat and sure enough! I also noticed on mine that there is no knob on the outside of the door.
And really who has blue trees?