Not often does a New Yorker article actually have any play in my own life. Let's face it, the writing itself makes me feel like a peasant (albeit in a starry-eyed way). However, a while back I read a report on a particular Chinese painting industry in which patrons send photos of landscapes to be copied by "artists" for a home décor facsimile.
And just this morning, I found this e-mail in my spam filter:
How are you?
This is Xiamen(China) Sinoorigin Art Co.,Ltd.
We can supply Thomas Kinkade style oil painting from photo.
If you have taken any beautiful digital photos of landscape, scene…that you want to transform them into hand painted oil paintings, please contact with us. We can paint the paintings into Thomas Kinkade style, also realistic style, impressionism style and palette knife oil painting.
If you need any further information about oil paintings, please contact with us.
We shall quote the exact prices after seeing the images, required sizes, style, quantity…
Company: Xiamen(China) Sinoorigin Art Co.,Ltd
With the attached photo:
For more on this, you can read a summary of Peter Hessler's Letter from Lishui: "Chinese Barbizon" here. (A subscription is needed for the real article.)