Kinkade Modernism

 John Hill
21. August 2018
Frank Gehry's house in Santa Monica, California, mashed-up Thomas Kinkade-style (Image: @robyniko / Twitter)
The paintings of Thomas Kinkade – the Painter of LightTM – and icons of modern residential architecture by the likes of Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Gehry would seem to be an incompatible mix. But in the hands of @robyniko, a series of Kinkade + Modernism mashups are oddly appealing.
Twitter user @robyniko posted a bunch of his mashups over the weekend, including Gehry's own Santa Monica residence, pictured above, and well-known houses by Corbu and Mies, as well as Philip Johnson and Louis I. Kahn. Most readers of this website are probably familiar with these architects, but Thomas Kinkade? Perhaps not.

According to the official website of the late Painter of LightTM (1958-2012), Kinkade "dedicated his life to creating art that emphasized simple pleasures and inspirational messages" through "his well-crafted use of chiaroscuro – the use of strong contrasts between light and dark." A quick glance at thumbnails of his paintings is enough to grasp his preferred style.
Google Image search with examples of Thomas Kinkade paintings (Image: @robyniko / Twitter)
The mashups of @robyniko soften the hard edges of Mies's Farnsworth House, Johnson's Glass House, and Gehry's own house by transplanting them to Kinkade settings that envelop the buildings in the glows of sunset and warm incandescent lights. Inadvertantly, the mashups picks up on how numerous buildings – modern, traditional, or otherwise – are photographed at sunset to increase their visual appeal.
Screenshot of Google Image search for "architecture sunset"
Visit @robyniko's Twitter feed to see more of his Thomas Kinkade + Modernism mashups.

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