The commercially successful, sometimes controversial, and recently troubled artist Thomas Kinkade passed away suddenly tonight in California. He was 54. His name and nickname — “Painter of Light” — were trending on Twitter late Friday night.
Admirers and detractors took to Twitter to share their thoughts — not always kind — about Kinkade’s death.
Lighting all six fireplaces in my tiny mountainside cottage in memory of Thomas Kinkade. R.I.P.
— Josh (@Livestock) April 7, 2012
Thomas Kinkade has died at the age of 54. It's estimated 1 in every 20 American homes have his paintings. http://t.co/ZLWM8uPA
— Matt Novak (@paleofuture) April 7, 2012
RIP Thomas Kinkade to that great CPA office, Garden Ridge, walk-in clinic waiting room, La Quinta hallway, mom's basement in the sky
— Kenny Bloggins (@kbloggins) April 7, 2012
RT @yellowtulips: Wow. Thomas Kinkade died. Just wow. I hated his stuff because I felt bombarded by it, but he was tremendously talented.
— MagicWhiskey (@MagicWhiskey) April 7, 2012
#RIP Thomas Kinkade, Painter of the Light. My painting teacher in college may not have liked your work, but I thought you were ok.
— Rob (@RobCabrera) April 7, 2012
Thomas Kinkade, the Painter of Light, died. The word "art" is immediately upgraded.
— Michael Maier (@stigrivers) April 7, 2012
Just told my mom Thomas Kinkade died and she's excited her painting might have went up in value. Where's the love mother?!?
— Emily (@EmmyDG) April 7, 2012
Oh no! Thomas Kinkade, RIP. He and Monet were/are my mom's favorite artists.
— Patricia Lee (@patricialee91) April 7, 2012
— Rachel (@Whovian_Chick) April 7, 2012
Thomas Kinkade is dead. Hard to say good things about the guy. In addition to being an awful artist, he was apparently a terrible person.
— Frank McDevitt (@frankmcdevitt) April 7, 2012
Apparently Thomas Kinkade died. I had no idea those awful mall paintings came from an actual person, I thought a factory in China made them.
— Elizabeth Miller (@ElMDesigns) April 7, 2012
Oh Thomas Kinkade, your art was horrible but you made a fortune. Here's to playing the art world in the best way possible.
— Sook Win (@doloresonthedot) April 7, 2012
Rip Thomas Kinkade… middlebrow Americans will miss you and your terrible art.
— Gretchen Farwell (@gertchen) April 7, 2012
Pouring some malt liquor on a terrible painting in memory of Thomas Kinkade #RIP
— Eli Braden (@EliBraden) April 7, 2012
@whistlingdixon yeah i LOVED making fun of thomas kinkade but he was a human being and this kind of reaction to his death is awful
— monty's bones (@abnercadaver) April 7, 2012
Read the San Jose Mercury News obituary here. Takeaway:
Despite Kinkade’s death, his paintings will live on. “Art is forever,” Kinkade told “60 Minutes” in 2007. “It goes front and center on your wall, where everyday the rest of your life you see that image. And it is shaping your children, it’s shaping your life.”