U.C Berkeley graduate and “one of the most popular artists in America,” died suddenly at his home in Los Gatos Saturday. He was 54.
Thomas Kinkade’s paintings hang in “an estimated one of every 20 homes in the United States”, says the Mercury News.
Fans say his “prints of idyllic cottages and bucolic garden gates” feel warm and familiar feeling, while detractors see his work as “tacky” and mass-produced.
Kinkade was “not well-regarded by the fine art establishment,” according to the New York Times, but he built an “art empire by creating sentimental paintings that were…relatively inexpensive.” His paintings cost anywhere from “hundreds of dollars to more than $10,000,” says the Mercury News.
In addition to selling work through his own company, he sold it on “cable television home shopping networks,” according to the New York Times.
Kinkade’s Media Arts Group company took in $32 million per quarter a decade ago, before going private “in the middle of the past decade.”
Someone complied a slideshow of Kinkade’s work on Youtube. Watch it here.