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The Picture of Success

Morley Safer Interviews Artist Thomas Kinkade

He has more than 350 galleries with his name on them. Fans flock to his hometown to see the environment that produced such talent. He is the world’s most collected living artist.

Such acclaim gives Thomas Kinkade not only bragging rights but also the right to dismiss Pablo Picasso.

“I don’t believe, in time, that [Picasso] will be regarded as the titan that he is now,” Kinkade tellsCBS News Correpsondent Morley Safer in a 60 Minutes interview to be broadcast Sunday. “He is a man of great talent who, to me, used it to create three Picassos before breakfast because he could get $10,000 for them.”

Both men laugh when Safer replies to Kinkade, who uses television and the Internet to sell his art, “You may not create three Kinkades before breakfast, but you may sell 30,000 before lunch.”

Safer’s response may not be too far off the mark for America’s most popular artist, whose business has grown from reproductions on canvas of his original oil paintings to a whole line of merchandise. Kinkade’s company says $600 million worth of retail products bearing his images were sold last year, including everything from high-end canvas reproductions to table-top collectibles to calendars

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