Frequently Asked Questions about Kitsch


Is not Kitsch just a style? Kitsch painters seem to just want to copy Odd Nerdrum.
There is a pervasive view that Kitsch is a club or a “lodge society” but many have been labeled “kitsch”: Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Kollwitz and Repin – to name a few. Some even embraced Kitsch – like Richard Strauss. The principles found in Kitsch descent back to antiquity and concerns the values that were cast out of Art in the 19th and 20th century. However “culty” that seems – “accidental kitsch” will clarify that it is not.
Antiquity had nothing to do with Kitsch – “kitsch” is a 19th century invention – back in the day there were only artists making art!
“Art” as an atounomous labelling of the product of painters – sculptors – musicians and poets springs out of mid 18th century France and Germany. “Artist” is an even more recent phenomena. Prior to the enlightenment period – the above mentioned disciplines were considered handcrafts and “art” was a term in use – only related to science.
Further reading on the history of Art and Kitsch.
But why defend the classical values through a word like “kitsch”? Everything is allowed – we live in a postmodern world.
Ok – then kitsch is not a problem – is it?
The Nazi’s promoted Kitsch…
Actually – the nazi’s favored many Artists and Goebbels was a pro-modernist. But this is an irrelevant question. Next.
Why call it “kitsch?” We – the figurative painters are the true artists!
Well congratulations! It has been rumoured that the figurative painting market is on the brink of a boom… good luck!
What is the difference between being a figurative artist and a kitsch painter?
Think of Lucian Freud’s ironic approach as contemporary figuration. Now – where would you put Andrew Wyeth’s dark and sentimental paintings?
There you have the difference.
That cannot be true. Camp is all about irony and Kitsch and Camp are practically the same thing – right?
Wrong. According to most kitsch critics – the difference between Camp and Kitsch is that the former is ironic while the latter is sincere. Quotes on kitsch might clearify the misunderstanding.
If Kitsch is not an art style – then why do kitsch-painters show in art galleries?
So you do not think that Kitsch can exhibit beside Art? Totalitarian attitude…
Even kitsch painters need money – for Chinese Vermillion.
Is the appropriation of Kitsch a way to avoid the truly critical approach of Art critics?
If that was only true – but on the contrary; it becomes so much harder. The critic is forced to readjust himself and judge the Kitsch work solely on the quality of the handcraft and the story of the image. Talk about complicating things for oneself!
“Art” – “Kitsch”… can’t we just paint and leave the words to the critics? I mean – who cares about the critics. Great Artists do not care about what the critics say!
If you call it “art” then you do care about words.
But “kitsch”… it is such a bad word…
And so was “baroque” and so was “impressionism.” The connotation of words change, and so should you and your attitude.