Last month we asked if Jon McNaughton was the right artist to take Thomas Kinkade's place in American culture and decided that it was not a good fit: McNaughton's much more concerned with ranting than actually painting. No, the next Painter of Light cannot be somebody with too many complex ideas. He needs to present something as familiar and easy to pull on as the cozy fall sweaters you're currently pulling out of your dresser drawers. The work should be ubiquitous and unchallenging, suitable for Facebook. And if you support our current president you already may have clicked 'like' on the work of one such artist already, that is [...]
"I have something in common with Norman Rockwell," Thomas Kinkade once reflected. "I like to make people happy." Right, and that's also why Krispy Kreme makes sugary donuts and why Joe Francis makes "Girls Gone Wild" DVDs. Regardless, nobody would argue too much against the fact that Kinkade, the fine art painter, is considered in the same "American populist" category as Rockwell, the magazine illustrator. However, Rockwell also confessed that "I am a story teller." And this is where the similarities abruptly end between Rockwell and the man who so badly wanted to be mentioned in the same breath as his idol.
The July page in [...]
March’s image is titled “A Peaceful Time.” And indeed it is a peaceful time for you, because you are not the unfortunate owner of this cottage. Take a look at it. While there's certainly much to recommend it as a residence—the picturesque location, the flowers so lush you could eat them—this level of immaculate rusticity is surely financially ruinous to maintain. When a stone wall requires repair, the owner cannot simply summon a mason, but must instead ask the Historical Society to appoint an art restorer. The savings that would ordinarily go toward the kids' college fund instead must go to updating the plumbing. I count one, two, three, four, [...]