Thomas Kinkade, the self-proclaimed Monet of the millennium has been 'Endorized'. There's also another one of a large octopus devouring a Kinkade lighthouse somewhere out there on the net that I saw a while back.
I find the politics of Kinkade's work interesting, especially in regards to the christian-right acceptance of his art. Since the 60's, the airbrushed landscape poster-reproduced paintings of this genre have dominated christian publishing, book covers and ephemera. It's amazing how quickly a pastiche is created through total acceptance. It's a far cry from the visceral Catholic imagery of the Quattrocento. Jeffrey Vallance, commented on Kinkade's paintings: "...This is another area that the contemporary art world has a hard time with, that I find interesting. He expresses what he believes and puts that in his art. That is not the trend in the high-art world at the moment, the idea that you can express things spiritually and be taken seriously… It is always difficult to present serious religious ideas in an art context. That is why I like Kinkade. It is a difficult thing to do...")
I think Vallance's quote talks more about art hierachies and politics rather than presenting religious ideas through art and I find his work is nestled closer to the christian art of the past: the use of narrative and imagery to instill comprehension through trepidation. If Vallance's was born during the Trecento, I would imagine him to be a predella painter - subtly subverting and questioning tenets through his use of extant symbols, all displayed in small format at the base of a formidable polyptych.

below: Kinkade/ Star Wars mash-up
under that: Jeffrey Vallance, The Devil Hates Art, 2001
(courtesy Lehmann Maupin, NYC)

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