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Judi's avatar

Can you compare Thomas Kinkade to Dali?

Asked by Judi (37158 points ) April 8th, 2012 from iPhone

Both mass produced their work for profit.
How will history compare the artists?

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7 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

I think Dali was more of a “character” than an artist. Not being an art man, I can only look at his work and scratch my head. Yes, it was a little “outside of the box” and unique.. but for me it’s more of a “hmm, that’s interesting.. moving on…” type work instead of a “wow, that is amazing, I have to have this” type of work.

The comparison between Kinkade and Dali? Well, I think that’s beyond the limits of my artistic prose. I tend to boil it down far more simply than “an art person” would do.

Dali: Weird, unusual, fantastic, but won’t hang on my wall.
Kinkade: Simple, cozy enough to make people uncomfortable with being cozy, could hang on my wall if I were to live in such a place as would require a large painting on its walls

Are they comparable? I’m not sure.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Kinkade went into art as a mass marketer, whereas Dalí was an artist for 30 years before prints of his work were made en masse. It is true that he never turned down an opportunity to make money, but he also did not make it his central activity. Despite his obsession with money and self-aggrandizement—some of which may have just been his public persona, though Surrealists were constantly preoccupied by making the subconscious manifest—Dalí was always an artist first. He was always attempting to push boundaries and come up with new ideas. Kinkade, meanwhile, settled quickly into a particular style and a relatively small set of themes. This is why his work often gets referred to as “kitsch.” Regardless of personal tastes, then, I suspect that history (or at least art historians) will judge Dalí to be an artist and Kinkade to be an artisan.

gailcalled's avatar

@SavoirFaire; Well said, as usually. When I note that you are typing, it means that I can sit back and read and not have to compose an artful sentence or paragraph.

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire What @gailcalled said. Right on.

dabbler's avatar

To add to @SavoirFaire‘s excellent comparison of their commercial natures, I’d say Dali was compelled to make his art and was very prolific. Everything around him was an opportunity to express his vision. There is a huge depth of emotion in Dali’s work, and an intensity that’s hard to match in any other artist’s work.
However while I thoroughly admire Dali’s prodigious output I’d have to say at the bottom of it is a wailing nihilistic existential angst, a despair of not finding meaning in anything after looking really really hard for it. He tried though, and put that pain out there for us to see.

fundevogel's avatar

@dabbler “while I thoroughly admire Dali’s prodigious output I’d have to say at the bottom of it is a wailing nihilistic existential angst, a despair of not finding meaning in anything after looking really really hard for it. He tried though, and put that pain out there for us to see.”

Are we thinking of the same Dali? A huge amount of his output strikes me as wonderfully playful.

dabbler's avatar

@fundevogel Quite so, there is a lot of really delightful whacky work from Sr. Dali. I like the way his imagination works, and I like all his work. His home in Figueres is chock full of consistently amusing and clever concoctions created in every space possible.
His sculptures are brilliant, and the paintings are unsurpassed in surreal creativity.

I guess my point was his emotion and intensity which borders on an obsessive struggle to get whatever it is in his system expressed. Kinkade’s work is pretty, but compared to Dali Kinkade seems pedestrian. Dali’s work is certainly intense.

I may be mistaking something else for anguish and despair. But I came away from the fantastic collection at Montmartre with this impression. In some very specific spots in his work, his typically meticulous craftmanship seems intentionally abandoned in frustration, not with the craft but with meaning itself.

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