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Old 08-28-2019, 09:19 PM
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theBongolian theBongolian is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

My feeling is that if you set out to make Kitsch, then it's not Kitsch. There needs imo to be a sincerity with an element of naivety, innocence, lack of worldliness for an object to be Kitsch.

Copying a work of kitsch, or making work in the kitsch style imo automatically precludes it from being kitsch. It may be satirical or reverent of kitsch but to be authentically kitsch imo a piece needs to be re-contextualized, re-purposed from the original intent by someone other than the creator.

In other words, you cannot set out to make kitsch - you "set out" to make a doily for an armrest, a beer can hat for when you go fishing, a burl slab clock, etc. Similarly imo you cannot "set out" to make a "collectible" or a "classic".

-bongo
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:09 AM
rainrain rainrain is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

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Originally Posted by Keith Russell

The counter-argument can always be made.

True
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Old 08-29-2019, 04:12 AM
selectedgrub selectedgrub is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

The village locals call Kitsch,
Tourists call souvenirs.



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Old 08-31-2019, 07:21 PM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Quote:
Originally Posted by theBongolian
My feeling is that if you set out to make Kitsch, then it's not Kitsch. There needs imo to be a sincerity with an element of naivety, innocence, lack of worldliness for an object to be Kitsch.

Copying a work of kitsch, or making work in the kitsch style imo automatically precludes it from being kitsch. It may be satirical or reverent of kitsch but to be authentically kitsch imo a piece needs to be re-contextualized, re-purposed from the original intent by someone other than the creator.

In other words, you cannot set out to make kitsch - you "set out" to make a doily for an armrest, a beer can hat for when you go fishing, a burl slab clock, etc. Similarly imo you cannot "set out" to make a "collectible" or a "classic".

-bongo

Interesting thought. Some have made this argument about Outsider/naive art/artists, that if they are setting out to make that sort of work, then it can't be purely "Outsider." You automatically become an insider if you "try."

An example of this happened a number of years ago when Albert Louden, a British Outsider artist was no longer welcome to show at the Outsider Art Fair in NY after having shown there every year before. He was a well-known painter--beautiful, colorful work. He was a bus driver I believe. The curators all but stripped him of his "Outsider status" because he was becoming aware of his selling his work and had started to ask for more money. Typically, and especially back in those times, dealers were buying up artwork from the artists for practically nothing and selling for 1000X the price (and up), and the artists, having lived on the fringes of society, had no idea their work was being sold for such prices. All the while, they stayed living in poverty.

It's now pretty rare for there to be a "true" Outsider artist (unless institutionalized) because of the Internet. If you have access to a computer and the web, I don't see how it's possible.

I started out as a naive artist, not really an Outsider. I couldn't be because I knew about art, but when I was young, I didn't know about how galleries worked or any of that business stuff. But I somehow crossed paths with the dealers who bought work for the first House of Blues. I learned about how they got most of the work from southern black artists for all but free (a pack of cigarettes and six pack for 12 paintings at a time--this sort of thing) and the buyers were turning it for crazy profits.

I was being offered less than $50 for my pieces and I was dumbfounded and wound up having a long lunch with the dealer who was doing most of the buying for the club. I later got to see his collection of Traylors, and Mose Tolivers, and all kinds of great pieces he got for practically nothing. It was the first time I saw this kind of art and I fell in love with it. He told me he'd never paid more than $100 for any artwork, ever. I never sold him anything. he had zero scruples.

But I digress.

A lot of artists feel they work in "kitsch," and a lot say they are "Outsider" artists, and I have to agree that neither can be true.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:33 PM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Here's an old article about just how crazy the term "Outsider" gets with purists and artists, dealers, and the like:

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-e...s-1575500.html

I think people start to split hairs because the dealers need these artists to stay clueless about what's happening so they can turn their profits, not so much so they can fit them into a box. What's really sad is that, while other movements in art describe what art seems to look like, the term "Outsider" describes nothing of the art, but instead of the artist's backstory.
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Old 08-31-2019, 08:10 PM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Quote:
Originally Posted by john
Do women like kitsch more than men do? I would say yes. It's emotional and cute. Men don't tend to do that, unless it's sexy kitsch. I do like the dogs playing poker though. It's a manly subject.....gambling.


Oh oh, I'm getting sexist here.

I'm not sure if you're being sexist, but maybe that idea is a bit general. or, in my opinion, it's more than a bit general since men aren't any sort of way about their likes and dislikes, nor or women. I think as a stereotype--like a burly lumberjack dude that is very manly and only likes trucks, guns, sports, big-breasted women, Nascar, beer, farting, burping, fighting, hating, war, beans, dirt, rock 'em-sock 'em robots, and have smelly feet...maybe they don't like "cute" kitsch stuff. But do you actually know a guy like that? People are people. I know some women that have those qualities, especially the smelly feet.
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Old 08-31-2019, 09:46 PM
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musket musket is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

I know a guy like that. He never got out of the high school locker room. My little sister tried to change him. Now she's dead because of it, and he's still the same weakling he always was, underneath the macho veneer. He was more in love with his beer buddies and sports heroes than he ever was with her, and she was a total knockout.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:17 AM
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Quote:
Originally Posted by john
Do women like kitsch more than men do? I would say yes. It's emotional and cute. Men don't tend to do that, unless it's sexy kitsch. I do like the dogs playing poker though. It's a manly subject.....gambling.


Oh oh, I'm getting sexist here.

Yes you are falling into stereotypes, but sometimes stereotypes are, or at least get started as, an aggregate of small inputs of data.

I think maybe both sexes like kitsch, but many women are drawn to one type of kitsch that evokes a particular type of emotional response--the "OMG that's too cute!" response; and many (but of course not all) men are drawn to other types of kitsch. "Sexy" kitsch is one obvious category. But what about "motorbike" kitsch? Or "medieval" kitsch? Or "militaria" kitsch? Or "dead animal heads stuffed and mounted on a wall" kitsch? My uncle, who was a hunter, even had a deer's rump stuffed and mounted in his rec room. Now that was kitschy. As were the deer hoof ashtrays.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:37 AM
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

The kitsch that appeals to me are mainly the "travel souvenir" type. Like little models of famous or almost-famous buildings. I also will collect some kind of miniature version of a local type of sculpture or carving--a reproduction Isle of Lewis chessman, Cycladic heads from Greece, a small reproduction of an Etruscan horse--or a miniature version of an icon like a red British phone booth which I just had to have, for some inexplicable reason.

I also confess I like Christmassy kitsch.

You can never have enough elves.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:07 PM
EnPassant EnPassant is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Kitsch is the junk food of art. And like junk food, it makes me feel queasy...
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:32 AM
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caldwell.brobeck caldwell.brobeck is offline
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyczar
I'm not sure if you're being sexist, but maybe that idea is a bit general. or, in my opinion, it's more than a bit general since men aren't any sort of way about their likes and dislikes, nor or women. I think as a stereotype--like a burly lumberjack dude that is very manly and only likes trucks, guns, sports, big-breasted women, Nascar, beer, farting, burping, fighting, hating, war, beans, dirt, rock 'em-sock 'em robots, and have smelly feet...maybe they don't like "cute" kitsch stuff. But do you actually know a guy like that? People are people. I know some women that have those qualities, especially the smelly feet.

There's a deep complexity in the forest employment sector that people who live outside it rarely see. But it was detailed quite awhile ago in the socially important documentary:

I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK. (Youtube)

Disclaimer - I worked in the woods for a number of years, and my son is now a licensed faller. We both approve this message

Cheers;
Chris
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:55 PM
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Re: Kitsch, “high art”, “low art”



Boris was a purveyor of "kitsch" from the onset... but here he really hit his stride.
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