Monday, February 14, 2011

Is Thomas kinkade an artist or a craftsman? Paint versus Clay

I have found that in the realm of ceramics, there is often a stigma attached to clay.  Outside of the people that actually work with clay, there seems to be a popular misconception that clay working can only be craft, and not fine art.  I personally believe that it is not what you use to make your work (artwork), but it is the thought, passion and ideas that lead you to make an object or image that define whether or not something is fine art, craft, or design.  That is not to say that one is better than the other (craft versus fine art); that is an entirely different debate.
Most of us know of the popular paintings of Thomas Kinkade.  Because Kinkades medium is paint, he is often advertised as an artist, but when your work becomes production is it still art?  Perhaps his first original paintings were art because he had an idea or a vision, but now, after they have been mass-produced is it still art, or is it craft? Or, is it something else?  I leave this entry as an opening into the discussion of art versus what?.  Feel free to add your two cents to this topic . . .  


  1. well... I can tell you that alot of painters don't even think he is a painter let alone an artist. I don't get their argument. art vs craft debate hurts my head. lol

  2. Thomas Kinkade is fascinating as a business man/salesman/promoter-I think of him as lifestyle designer. He's created a very sale-able product that doesn't ask any question or provoke any ideas. The "art-world" is not his audience. His product is equivalent to muzak, It's the most common denominator "art" but doesn't fit my criteria for art or craft because it's not interesting, challenging, or teach/tell me anything. Wether or not it's made by hand is irrelevant

  3. "after they have been mass-produced is it still art, or is it craft?"
    This statement confuses me . . I think you're a little confused about art and craft. Some might say that the way Thomas Kinkade runs his business is art!You know that dude's rollin in it!