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Friday, June 19, 2009

Jesus! Christian Artist's Company Stuck With $2.1 Million Legal Payout.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 6:30 AM

Thomas Kinkade, who created this nativity figure and boatloads of other 'inspirational' works of art, will now have to draw $2.1 million, according to a San Francisco court - THOMAS KINKADE
  • Thomas Kinkade
  • Thomas Kinkade, who created this nativity figure and boatloads of other 'inspirational' works of art, will now have to draw $2.1 million, according to a San Francisco court
Art critics worldwide are giggling malevolently as the company producing Thomas Kinkade's treacly religious artwork is back on the hook for a $2.1 million arbitration payout to a pair of former art dealers who say they were duped into pouring every last cent into a partnership with the art company.

San Francisco's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week overturned a 2007 decision by the city's federal district court, and stated that the Placerville-born artist's company is not only responsible for licensing artwork that "communicates and spreads inherent life-affirming values" -- he'd also better spread a couple million dollars to Karen Hazlewood and Jeff Spinello.

The former art dealers claim their Christian faith was used against

them when the company played fast and loose with terms such as

"partner" and "trust" when they signed on to become "Kinkade Signature

Gallery owners." They also claim they were bound to sell Kinkade's

artwork at higher prices than the artist's company -- undercutting

their business, which folded in 2003.

A private arbitration panel awarded the aforementioned $2.1 million payout, though this was later quashed by a San Francisco District Court judge; Kinkade company lawyers claimed the arbitrators had been unduly influenced due to a friendship developing between the plaintiff's representative and the neutral arbitrator.

That argument didn't hold water with the 9th, though, and now the "painter of light" will have to draw $2.1 million.

That means he'll have to sell 14,483 of these inspirational prints of Fenway Park.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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