Like Romero Britto, Hack Artist Thomas Kinkade Arrested for DUI

Before Romero Britto lucked his way into a multimillion-dollar empire selling cheerful, polka-dot canvasses to the masses, there was Thomas Kinkade.

Kinkade is a kind of role model for Britto. Even before the Brazilian thought about hurting people's eyeballs, Kinkade had already made a fortune selling those gooey, oddly phosphorescent landscapes of winter wonderlands and flushing meadows you now see plastered all over America's malls and in badly decorated Christian households.

But it seems the master has become the student. A year after Britto was arrested for drunk driving in Miami, Kinkade has been arrested for drunk driving in California. Now you have one more way of distinguishing your hack artists. Also: ill-conceived facial hair.

Kinkade was pulled over Friday night on his Mercedes, and was then arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, according to The Modesto Bee. This is at least an improvement over Britto, who swerved and almost hit other cars when he was arrested last year.

Kinkade was "very polite" during the arrest, a cop told told the paper. Sadly, neither artist crashed into one of their pieces. Though, remember, every time a hack artist gets arrested, an angel gets his wings. Watch out Shepard Fairey!

For more on Britto, read last week's feature. And for Kinkade, read Susan Orlean's 2001 New Yorker profile.

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Erik Maza