|Thomas Kinkade's "Candlelight Cottage"|
Regardless of what you think about Kinkade's work, thousands of arguably not-so-refined art lovers related to his pastel pastorals (and, they paid for them). Unfortunately for Kinkade, the art world was less kind in its judgment of his seemingly manufactured images of bucolic serenity, and that criticism, said Patrick Kinkade, the artist's brother, contributed to the artist's ultimate demise.
According to an autopsy report from the Santa Clara County coroner, Kinkade's death last month resulted from an accidental overdose of valium and alcohol. Patrick Kinkade explained to the San Jose Mercury News that decades of mean-spirited artistic criticism, along with the heartbreak resulting from the 2010 dissolution of his nearly thirty-year marriage, took a heavy toll on the painter, leading to his ongoing struggle with alcoholism.
With a prior arrest for DUI and other instances of public embarrassment (like urinating on a Winnie the Pooh statue at the Disneyland hotel), Kinkade's trouble with alcohol abuse was nothing new. Nonetheless, Kinkade's death by overdose represents a dark ironic end for the artist known as the "Painter of Light." Once again, it really is strange, the way things turn.
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