While recently at an art show, shockingly yes they exist in Sacramento, I was cornered by an artist who reminded me that it was Rembrandt, and not Thomas Kinkade, who was the original painter of light. I was taken aback by this, not so much by the reminder that Rembrandt was the painter of light (I was not at an art show in fucking Sacramento solely for the sake of the triple cream brie, I was an Art History minor in college) but by the defensiveness of the aforementioned artist. But it made some sense. In art, like College Basketball, we have only the ability to go by aesthetics and outcome to gauge effectiveness. Paul Westhead is still remembered for his Loyola Marymount basketball teams not so much by their achievement – an Elite Eight is nothing to sneeze at but remember recent West Virginia teams have achieved the same goal – but by the beauty of their style of play. This observation was relevant again tonight in the wake of Kansas State’s defeat of Kansas.
The question, then, is who is Rembrandt and who is Kinkade? By all rights Kansas should be the Rembrandt, the long time master, beautiful to observe, momentarily upstaged by a stylistically inferior upstart. But such an assertion is dubious. Kansas has in recent years been the Kinkade, the excessively priced, gaudy portrait of an Illinois cottage placed, conspicuously consumed, over a subdivision fireplace. After 24 years of futility, that point regarding the Bill Self Jayhawks was affirmed last night. Kansas State has solidified their legacy even if, come Tournament time, they turn into last year’s Georgia Tech. Beasley, Walker, and Martin for one night transcended their medium. The legacy of a one and done can be of Pervis Ellison proportions when that one was done so effectively. Just ask Mark Mangino.