WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > The Town Center > Café Guerbois
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 02:25 AM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,059
 
Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Who deems what is or is not kitsch, what is or is not high art, what is or is not low (popular?) art?
A serious question asked by our own StLukesguild

Here is “Kitsch” as defined in Wikipedia:
Kitsch (/kɪtʃ/ KITCH; loanword from German),[a] also called tackiness, is art or other objects that, generally speaking, appeal to popular rather than "high art" tastes. Such objects are sometimes appreciated in a knowingly ironic or humorous way.[1][2][3] The word was first applied to artwork that was a response to certain divisions of 19th-century art with aesthetics that favored what later art critics would consider to be exaggerated sentimentality and melodrama. Hence, 'kitsch art' is closely associated with 'sentimental art'. Kitsch is also related to the concept of camp, because of its humorous and ironic nature.

Kitsch art may often contain palatable, pleasant and romantic themes and visuals that few would find disagreeable, shocking or otherwise objectionable; it generally attempts to appeal to the human condition and its natural standards of beauty on a superficial level. It may also be quaintor "quirky" without being controversial.

To brand visual art as "kitsch" is generally (but not exclusively) pejorative, as it implies that the work in question is gaudy, or that it serves a solely ornamental and decorative purpose rather than amounting to a work of what may be seen as true artistic merit. However, art deemed kitsch may be enjoyed in an entirely positive and sincere manner. The term is also sometimes applied to music or literature, or indeed any work.[4]

Obviously, individual tastes have much to do with this issue: what makes one person want to throw up in disgust may be a tremendous delight for another.
Opinions and examples would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 02:31 AM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,059
 
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”



These are but few examples that are defined as kitsch online
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 06:44 AM
brianvds's Avatar
brianvds brianvds is offline
A Local Legend
Pretoria
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,396
 
Hails from South Africa
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairy wolf


These are but few examples that are defined as kitsch online

I have no particular opinions on what kitsch "really" is, and neither do I care, to be honest. But as an aside, something that strikes me about Kinkade's paintings is that few people would object to such a scene in real life; most would find it quite breathtaking. It's kind of weird that something that would be considered beautiful in reality strikes us as vulgar when it is in a painting.

The opposite is also true: something that is disturbing in real life (say, a mass execution) can make for a lovely painting (e.g. Goya's Third of May).
__________________
__________________________
http://brianvds.blogspot.co.za/
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-25-2019, 05:36 PM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
A Local Legend
Århus
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,628
 
Hails from Denmark
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianvds
But as an aside, something that strikes me about Kinkade's paintings is that few people would object to such a scene in real life; most would find it quite breathtaking. It's kind of weird that something that would be considered beautiful in reality strikes us as vulgar when it is in a painting.

Actually, this scene would freak me out in real life. I would definitely be scared and assume that either I was hallucinating or that I was on a holodeck (holographic images in virtual reality).

Quote:
Originally Posted by caldwell.brobeck
I tend to lean in Roger Scruton’s (and Milan Kundera’s, and Oscar Wilde’s ) direction on this: tend to lean in Roger Scruton’s (and Milan Kundera’s, and Oscar Wilde’s ) direction on this:

Quote:
The Czech novelist Milan Kundera made a famous observation. "Kitsch," he wrote, "causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! " Kitsch, in other words, is not about the thing observed but about the observer. It does not invite you to feel moved by the doll you are dressing so tenderly, but by yourself dressing the doll. All sentimentality is like this — it redirects emotion from the object to the subject, so as to create a fantasy of emotion without the real cost of feeling it. The kitsch object encourages you to think, "Look at me feeling this — how nice I am and how lovable." That is why Oscar Wilde, referring to one of Dickens's most sickly death-scenes, said that "a man must have a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell".

This sums it up so well. If anyone is interested the book Kitsch and Art
by Tomas Kulka is a quick read. Kitsch makes us feel like we are feeling in tandem with others. It is the reason we buy the 3 inch version of Michelangelos David when in Italy or the San Francisco trolley car as a Christmas ornament. Not because we think they are of any real value, or even a good replica of the original, but because we have been there with the rest of humanity and want to share in this joy with our friends and family.

I made kitsch art. I try not to, but I do it anyway. Not sure if I just can't help myself, or if I am hopelessly tacky, or if I lack self discipline. I have found though, that when describing art as totally kitsch and admitting it up front, then suddenly people take it more seriously, as if by admitting it is kitsch then you suddenly are above it being kitsch. It's not true, the work is still kitsch, but others seem to think it is less so. I am in a group show in the fall and I entered a painting and a sculpture. The painting is fine but the sculpture is totally kitsch. So in the submission I described the sculpture as totally kitsch. By admitting it head on and describing it as such, the curator suddenly takes it more seriously, as if by saying it is kitsch I have elevated it above kitsch. Of course I haven't it is still totally kitsch, but hey, I am going to do what works.
__________________
Being born places you at a greater risk of dying later in life.

http://www.artallison.com/
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 05:54 AM
ianuk ianuk is offline
A WC! Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14,911
 
Hails from England
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

The problem I have with 'kitsch' is that when I have heard the word used in a sentence, I tend to find it makes the person using the word, as kitsch as the object they are describing. It's such a tacky word.
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 09:01 AM
snoball's Avatar
snoball snoball is offline
A WC! Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 33,713
 
Hails from United States
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

I really don't care to hang any definition on art. I like what I like, no matter the style, the technique, the era, or the type.
__________________

I pressed the space bar but I'm still on earth!
My work on Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 09:29 AM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
Lord of the Arts
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,156
 
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

With Kinkade, I think part of it is that he just carries it a bit beyond what real life would present. It's not just the scene, it's the colors and the lighting, and you just know the smell of something yummy cooking is wafting out of that cottage...

For my tastes it gets a little saccharin. But I can see why many would find it comfort food. I think that may be a part of what kitsch is. It's a comfort food, or a junk food treat. We know it's not deep or ultimately fulfilling, but in the moment it is fun and pleasurable.

Kitsch may be "solely ornamental and decorative" but that is not necessarily a bad thing. As Paul McCartney says in Silly Love Songs "What's wrong with that? I'd like to know."
__________________
"Let the paint be paint" --John Marin
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 11:18 AM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
A Local Legend
Joshua Tree, California
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 6,262
 
Hails from United States
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Koons!

I also think of Kean:


Last edited by Artyczar : 07-24-2019 at 11:40 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 11:21 AM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
A Local Legend
Joshua Tree, California
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 6,262
 
Hails from United States
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Maybe I have to read your definitions again, but "low art" is "popular" art? How so? And what is considered "low art?" exactly? Maybe I need to google it? I know what lowbrow is, and Lowbrow as far as the official "Lowbrow Movement" goes, but what is "low art?"

EDIT: Never mind. I looked it up:

From this article: ...https://www.therapidian.org/high-and-low-art:

Most people are aware of a distinction between high and low art. High art is appreciated by those with the most cultivated taste. Low art is for the masses, accessible and easily comprehended. The concept of high and low can be traced back to 18th century ideas about fine art and craft. . .

Last edited by Artyczar : 07-24-2019 at 11:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 12:10 PM
La_'s Avatar
La_ La_ is offline
A WC! Legend
Alberta, where coyotes look both ways before crossing the highway
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 16,598
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Calvin gets it

https://www.flickr.com/photos/eoskins/21088745230


la
__________________
_____________________________________________
Pacis, der Frieden, Mir, Shanti, Friour, Paz, Pace, Kapayapaan, Fred, Piersica, Taika, Aman, Beke, Miers, Shalom, Salam السلام, Heping, Mir (Мир),Paix,Ειρήνη,Udo
http://yourstrulyart.blogspot.ca Peace - When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace
Latin, German, Serbian, Bengali, Icelandic, Brazilian, Italian, Filipino, Swedish, Romanian, Lithuanian, Hindi/Urdu, Hungarian, Latvian, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French,Greek,Igbo(Nigeria)
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 12:22 PM
musket's Avatar
musket musket is offline
A WC! Legend
Grafton, NH
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23,260
 
Hails from United States
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

La beat me to it.
__________________
We cannot define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers, who sit opposite each other, one saying to the other, "You don't know what you are talking about!". The second one says, "What do you mean by know? What do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? ~R.P. Feynman
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 01:08 PM
snoball's Avatar
snoball snoball is offline
A WC! Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 33,713
 
Hails from United States
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Love Calvin and he is spot on this time.
__________________

I pressed the space bar but I'm still on earth!
My work on Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 05:31 PM
caldwell.brobeck's Avatar
caldwell.brobeck caldwell.brobeck is offline
Immortalized
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,430
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

I tend to lean in Roger Scruton’s (and Milan Kundera’s, and Oscar Wilde’s ) direction on this:
Quote:
The Czech novelist Milan Kundera made a famous observation. "Kitsch," he wrote, "causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: How nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! " Kitsch, in other words, is not about the thing observed but about the observer. It does not invite you to feel moved by the doll you are dressing so tenderly, but by yourself dressing the doll. All sentimentality is like this — it redirects emotion from the object to the subject, so as to create a fantasy of emotion without the real cost of feeling it. The kitsch object encourages you to think, "Look at me feeling this — how nice I am and how lovable." That is why Oscar Wilde, referring to one of Dickens's most sickly death-scenes, said that "a man must have a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell".

From his The strangely enduring power of kitsch


Most of the article rehashes things Scruton has expressed before, but he also goes on to talk about “preemptive kitsch”, which is an interesting notion.

FWIW, I actually like doing the occasional (ok, more than occasional )kitschy or “chocolate-box” painting. People should feel free to paint as they please.

Cheers,
Chris
__________________
C&C of all sorts always welcome! (I don't mind rude or harsh criticism.)
I suppose I have to do this too (my blog, & current work). My Visual Arts Nova Scotia page.
Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known - Oscar Wilde
The primary palette: Attention, observation, memory, imagination, integration, execution

Last edited by caldwell.brobeck : 07-24-2019 at 05:35 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 06:09 PM
musket's Avatar
musket musket is offline
A WC! Legend
Grafton, NH
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23,260
 
Hails from United States
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Personally, I think Kundera was so full of himself when he said that, he was a model of kitsch. "Look at me feeling this--how smart I am, and how jaded!"

Really, how would this little observation apply to an Elvis on velvet? About as kitsch as it gets.
__________________
We cannot define anything precisely. If we attempt to, we get into that paralysis of thought that comes to philosophers, who sit opposite each other, one saying to the other, "You don't know what you are talking about!". The second one says, "What do you mean by know? What do you mean by talking? What do you mean by you? ~R.P. Feynman

Last edited by musket : 07-24-2019 at 06:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 07-24-2019, 11:33 PM
caldwell.brobeck's Avatar
caldwell.brobeck caldwell.brobeck is offline
Immortalized
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,430
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

I would think there’s actually a pretty close connection between the velvet Elvises and the Communist kitsch that infested Kundera’s native Czechoslovakia. Is there any great difference between the social implications of a velvet Elvis and some work of Socialist Realism? It’s been 30 years since I read his The Unbearable Lightness of Being, maybe I’ll restart that next week.
Cheers,
Chris
__________________
C&C of all sorts always welcome! (I don't mind rude or harsh criticism.)
I suppose I have to do this too (my blog, & current work). My Visual Arts Nova Scotia page.
Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known - Oscar Wilde
The primary palette: Attention, observation, memory, imagination, integration, execution
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:45 AM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.