By Ralph Bakshi
Thomas Kinkade was for me at his very young age already a brilliant painter. That’s why, with no prior professional training, I gave him the job of painting backgrounds for my movie with Frank Frazetta, “Fire and Ice”. He nailed it, which really was impossible for anyone else with no experience – but not for him.
It was also Kinkade that negotiated for himself and his partner James Gurney, all salaries and vacations. He was good at that too, and that got my attention. He was also all country – “aw shucks”, he would laugh. I liked Tom so much, I kept telling him that his “aw shucks” wasn’t fooling me, and that there’s something about him I really like – and it has to do with how much he know’s already.
Now a few years ago, I met billionaire Kinkade at my booth at the SDCC. We hugged and laughed and spent a long time together but he did not look good – I shrugged it off. As far as the art world, the CRITICAL ones shrugging Tom off, as they sell l shark in oil, and polka dots, in, 12, count them, 12 galleries at once in one opening -and all the other mindless hype…
They miss the true brilliance that is Kinkade.
Kinkade painted the brilliant landscapes of the religious right, Tea Party and all the other Rush Limbaughs in America. He’s selling back what Americans’ want. This is the most homespun vision of the distorted right, and nostalgia looking Americans reaching for purity without knowing what it really is – all through his landscapes.
ITS BRILLIANT, and goes by every art critic and major museum in the world. I love it. And its just that that I made my movies about – the blind, pretentious and ugly.
Tom Kinkade was a great, a good friend of mine and I will miss him. As an artist he nailed it - and that’s rare.