Self proclaimed "Painter of Light," Thomas Kinkade had a very interesting career. His art depicted serene scenes of yesteryear, places most people would love to go in real life. He also painted people from his life into some of his paintings. Imagine being immortalized in a famous work of art!
Thomas Kinkade's real life rarely resembled the tranquility of his fantasy worlds. Most people do not live idealistic lives and he was no different. Kinkade painted more than just cozy cottages and lighthouses, he also painted religious inspired art and military tribute work. Kinkade made a decent amount of money from his art as well as collectibles that featured his art work.
After his untimely passing (April 2012), anything with his name on it began flooding the market and flying off of the shelves. All of the sudden the interest in Thomas Kinkade's art and collectibles shot through the roof. One might ask why the sudden interest? There are a few reasons this happened with Thomas Kinkade and so many other celebrities after their deaths.
Some people scrambled to buy Kinkade pieces simply because he will not be producing any more work, ever. There will never be another unveiling of a new painting or drawing that he just completed. What is out there is all that will ever be. This makes existing pieces seem even more valuable to sellers and collectors alike.
It doubtful that companies will stop manufacturing Kinkade items any time soon. It is possible to buy brand new merchandise but the art work is not new. Collectors will not care about this because the artist painted numerous works in his thirty year career and it is possible to find something never seen before that was actually painted years ago.
There is another very important reason Kinkade pieces have risen in popularity and value: collectors felt a connection with the artist through his pieces. He painted places and scenes that people used to dream about and wished were real. For some collectors, it was like he knew exactly how they felt and put it on canvas. People are willing to spend more to hold onto that special connected feeling.
Many collectors admired Thomas Kinkade for his charity work and work with special interest groups. Some also felt akin to him through his strong Christian faith. The nicest thing about even his inspirational pieces is that those pieces could touch so many hearts, regardless of their personal beliefs.
This is the ugly side of fame. Many celebrities and artists are worth more dead than alive to the companies and suits that oversaw the daily operations of the star. This is not to suggest that Kinkade's family and personal friends did not mourn his passing. He was beloved by many close to him. The point is that banks and some galleries are about making money and his death renewed interest in his work. The chain reaction is that money will be made .
Thomas Kinkade will live on in his art and in the hearts of those closest to him. It is a shame that some people use his death as an excuse to raise the prices on his pieces and pocket the profits. Unfortunately, that is the way business works.