Nov
02
2013

My basic issue with the Wars on Kinkade series.

This is going around – basically, the artist is inserting Star Wars imagery into examples of Thomas Kinkade‘s work – and while I get the concept I have to say that I find the works  themselves to be hit-and-miss, and mostly miss. Let me show you two examples, and I’ll explain why.

First we have this miss:


War-on-Kinkade-02 by ~RolandDeschane on deviantART

It’s an arresting image, to be sure; but – and I am not making anything like a joke – it’s pretty clearly meant to be merely jarring and discordant. It’s the visual equivalent of that joke about being presented an old shoe on a serving platter at a restaurant; its humor is in the unexpected juxtaposition of two unrelated and incompatible items. There’s no story there, from either side. The damn Star Destroyer is literally slapped in there, with no clue as to how it managed to maneuver through those mountains. I’m not even certain it’s to scale.

This, on the other hand, is a hit:


War-on-Kinkade-07 by ~RolandDeschane on deviantART

And that’s because there’s a story, there. Kincade’s pastoral scene has been invaded by the Empire. The imposition of the the Empire’s order and sharp edges on the soft, rounded landscape provides a legitimate artistic contrast… and, down in the corner there, are the Ewoks, representing both the violence inflicted on this world by the Empire and the world’s reaction to it.  If the series had been all like this one I would have been a good deal more sympathetic to the conceit.

Don’t get me wrong: the concept entertains.  But I take a position that the best satire and/or parody works with the original artwork’s original message, instead of utterly ignoring it.  I grant that people will be raising their eyebrows at the thought that Kinkade should be called an artist, given that he pretty much churned out this stuff wholesale and with the broadest possible message… but the truth is that the best picture in the above series was the one that took Kinkade’s original picture the most seriously.

At least, to me.

Moe Lane

5 Comments

  • acat says:

    The main issue I see with the first one isn’t scale or art but that an imperial star destroyer is not an atmosphere-capable craft. Stick the Millenium Falcon in there, or Slave-1 or a couple pod racers and it works.
    .
    For me, anyway.
    .
    Mew

  • Luke says:

    Of course Kinkade was an artist. Certainly he was one of the few good enough at it to make a comfortable living for himself.

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