Thomas Kinkade is bankrupt

After duping gallery owners into buying his artwork as part of a scheme to lower the value of his company for a corporate buyout, Thomas Kinkade, the painter of light, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just one day before the company was due to pay back their next $1 million installment. Here’s how it went down: In the early 2000s Kinkade sold his paintings without telling the gallery owners that “they would have to sell [his] works at minimum retail prices while the artist undercut them with discount sales, some of which he made himself on cable television. It was all part of a plan, they claimed, to lower the value of the publicly traded company before Kinkade bought it in 2004 at steep losses to many investors.”

Kinkade won the initial suit, but it has since been overturned and Kinkade and company have been ordered to pay $2.1 million to the galleries that were forced, by the way, to close in 2003 as a result of the sale. “Kinkade is a deadbeat,” said the galleries’ lawyer. “His word is as worthless as his artwork.” But with Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which puts an immediate hold on all payouts, Kinkade won’t have to pay a dime of the $2.1 million and the gallery owners may never be compensated. I can’t imagine a gallery-full of glow-in-the-dark paintings offers much consolation.