jahsonic.com - [Next >>]


Parent categories: aesthetics

Crying Boy (?) - Bruno Amadio

Kitsch is a by-product of the Industrial Revolution which made it possible to mass-produce cultural artifacts. See also the introduction to Baudelaire's essay Painter of Modern Life (1863) explaining the relation between Baudelaire's views on art consumption and the idea of kitsch.

"all those cheap, cute, sentimental artifacts found everywhere in western industrial societies ... an inevitable consequence of the industrial revolution, a mass produced art for a middle class philistine in their tastes because they lack formal education and have lost contact with traditional folk culture." --probably Harold Rosenberg, Tradition of the New

Key text: Avant-garde and Kitsch (1939) - Clement Greenberg

Related: academic art - art - artificial - bad taste - camp - cheap - cheesy - commercial - consumerism - culture - culture industry - false - formulaic - Jean-Léon Gérôme - Industrial Revolution - low culture - mass - melodrama - popular - popular culture - quality - postmodernism - reproduction - sentimentalism - vulgar

Appraisals in interior design of 'kitsch': Memphis Design Group

Modern and contemporary artists working within 'kitsch': John Currin - Lisa Yuskavage - Odd Nerdrum

Der Kitsch (1969) - Gillo Dorfles

Theorists: Theodor Adorno - Charles Baudelaire - Walter Benjamin - Clement Greenberg -

Opposite of kitsch: authenticity - avant-garde - good taste - genuine - greatness - originality - unique

Mona Lisa (c. 1506-1507) - Leonardo da Vinci
Due to the number of times it has been reproduced, the Mona Lisa can be regarded as both kitsch and high art

Since the Industrial Revolution the Mona Lisa has become both high art (in its original form) and kitsch (in the numerous engravings and reproductions). [May 2006]

Biblis (1884) - William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)
image sourced here.

Academic art such as that of Bouguereau was considered kitsch by mid 20th century standards.


Kitsch is a German term that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior copy of an existing style. The term is also used more loosely in referring to any art that is pretentious or in bad taste, and also commercially produced items that are considered trite or crass.

Because the word was brought into use as a response to a large amount of art in the 19th century where the aesthetic of art work was confused with a sense of exaggerated sentimentality or melodrama, kitsch most closely associated with art that is sentimental, mawkish, or maudlin; however, it can be used to refer to any type of art which is deficient for similar reasons — whether it tries to appear sentimental, cool, glamorous, theatrical, or creative, kitsch is said to be a gesture imitative of the superficial appearances of art. It is often said that kitsch relies on merely repeating convention and formula, lacking the sense of creativity and originality displayed in genuine art. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsch [Aug 2005]

Crying Boy series (?) - Bruno Amadio

Bruno Amadio, popularly known as Bragolin, and also known as Franchot Seville, Giovanni Bragolin, and J. Bragolin, is the supposed creator of a group of paintings known as Crying Boys. The paintings, which feature a variety of tearful children looking morosely straight ahead, are the prime example of 1900s kitsch.

There does not seem to be a coherent biography of Bragolin, although tradition makes him Sevillian. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno Amadio [Sept 2006]

Just Above the Mantelpiece: Mass-Market Masterpieces (2000) - Hemingway Wayne
[FR] [DE] [UK]

Link: http://www.quasimondo.com/bragolincryingboy.php

Disco [...]

Scorned and ridiculed as feather-lite, escapist pap when it emerged in the mid-70s, and now reduced to a kitsch scenario of Afro wigs, polyester suits and drunken singalongs at office Chrstmas parties and bachelopr weekends, disco is just about the last place anyone would look for avant garde practice. [...] --Peter Shapiro, Wired, Feb 2003.

Harold Rosenberg on kitsch

Harold Rosenberg described kitsch as
"Kitsch is the daily art of our time, as the vase or the hymn was for earlier generations. For the sensibility it has that arbitrariness and importance which works take on when they are no longer noticeable elements of the environment. In America kitsch is Nature. The Rocky Mountains have resembled fake art for a century." --The Tradition of the New (1959).

Meanwhile, at Amazon

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications