King of kitsch takes on The King

It is a marriage made in rock ‘n roll heaven. Thomas Kinkade, the famous “painter of light,” has revealed to the world his version of Graceland. Kinkade has grown wealthy by satisfying the insatiable demand for sentimental paintings of log cabins and gingerbread cottages and lighthouses that all emit an intense yellow light from their windows as if someone had stoked a blaze of Barbara Cartland paperbacks inside every room.

Now Graceland, which Elvis bought 50 years ago and which has been open for 25 year (O numberical bliss!) has received the Kinkade treatment. According to this article in this week’s Memphis Flyer, the good folks at Elvis, Inc. are offering, for a mere $250, a chance to mingle with Priscilla Presley and the Leonardo of Light himself.

One of the innovations that Kinkade has brought to fine art is having skilled painters in some of his stores add “light effects” to a purchase to make it more personalized. If I were to buy one of these masterpieces, I’d want mine to show a lit-up Jerry Lee Lewis railing at the gate demanding that security let him in.

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