Thomas Kinkade’s Stepford Village

Dang. I usually try to stay current with every weirdo exburban trend that orbits out somewhere between Martha Stewart and the QVC network, but I totally missed this one. Unironic cult/shlock artist Thomas Kinkade (“America’s most collected living artist”) has made a living out of mass-manufacturing landscape paintings of luminescent New England kitsch: bridges, lighthouses, etc. Mostly stuff you would see on QVC, hotel rooms, motivational posters, or in Ned Flanders’ house. Not content with having his prints in one out of every twenty American homes, Kinkade took a cue from Martha and branded himself out the wazoo – with Kinkade-labeled “art-based products” including furniture, china, stationery, wallpaper, a novel, and… a housing tract. Er correction… a “Thomas Kinkade Painter Of Light Community”.

Salon visits the village and deconstructs the horror which, oddly enough (or perhaps not) is in Negativland’s sphere of influence. Fun fact from Kinkade’s web page: he used to work for Ralph Bakshi Studios. [via Robot Wisdom]

What Me Sell Out?

alfredwhoreThe destruction of childhood anti-authoritarian icons Part II.

Although Mad’s founder, the late William Gaines, once vowed to teach kids not to believe in ads, his cartoon protege has chosen another path, dishing out product endorsements for everything from Lucky jeans to Tang to computer gear. “Advertisers are realizing Neuman puts a smile on people’s face and creates immediate brand recognition,” says Joel Ehrlich, senior vice president of advertising and promotions for DC Comics and Warner Bros.

May the ghost of William Gaines eternally haunt these bastards. [via bOing bOing]