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Old 04-26-2010, 05:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Long Live Kitsch

Anyone who has ever read an essay from an art critic has heard the word "kitsch" before, this word was brought into the english language by art critic Clement Greenberg (the first to praise the work of the "great" Jackson Pollock) and it has been the war cry of every modern artist and art critic.

"Kitsch" is mostly used to describe something that is clearly manufactured, a cheap and tasteless imitation of art.

But among the snoodier art critics it has a much broader definition and can be used to simply describe anything that appeals to basic human emotions or desires, it can range beyond art to describe virtually anything with an appeal to emotion or nostalgia.

And this is why critics can suck my d*ck.

I'm pretty sure just about everything I like falls into the category of "Kitsch" by the modern art critic definition, but that probably goes for most people here as well.

Some of my favorite painters include Roger Dean, HR Giger, Frank Frazetta, Edward Hopper and Bouguereau who are all considered kitsch painters. The most hardcore modern art critics consider romanticism, symbolism, surrealism and fantastical art to be examples of bad taste. Greenberg in fact pretty much stated that there is only "abstract and kitsch, there is no in between", thus spawning the idea that ALL figurative art and ALL art with any hint of familiarity is kitsch. And that abstract art is the only art of any artistic merit in the context of modern times.

But the massive contradiction is that abstract art has become such a symbol for modern art pretense and "fine art" that it has become very fashionable among those belonging to the "low" culture and thus it is kitsch also.

The word itself reeks of elitism, as "kitsch" can be applied to anything that is considered of "low" culture. That includes comic books, video games, cartoons, anime, erotica, almost all rock and pop music and all mainstream cinema, and anything dealing with escapism. It doesn't matter if they have no intention of passing off as art, it's still bad taste and you have bad taste for liking it.

Seriously, by the logic of critics who deem all figurative art (everyone from Da Vinci to Monet) "kitsch", all rock music with any hint of appeal to emotions or nostalgia or escapism aka accessibility, is kitsch. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles. It's all garbage, actually so is Beethoven and Wagner, garbage, as is any music that pays homage to something or tries to make you feel anything. Lester Bangs had the right idea when he called Metal Machine Music the greatest piece of music ever made.

Because only the avant garde has merit.

And the same goes for cinema. Spielberg, Scorsese, Kubrick, Lynch, Tarantino, Coens. It's all kitsch. They are not at all more artistically credible than Uwe Boll. Not in the slightest.

For art to be art, or at least "fine art", it cannot uphold any traditional structure and should never be idealistic, it should show things they way they are, objectively, art is truth. It's about the artist expressing themselves, as long as they conform to the ridiculously strict and limited rules that critics provide otherwise they have no credibility.

Virtually everything about American culture is kitsch, everything YOU like is kitsch, everything you DO is kitsch, because you're all selfish idiots who only care about appealing to your emotions and not at all to your intellect, you don't care about your fellow man YOU FOOLS, you only care about things that amuse you or make you feel better about yourself or make you yearn for something better than your existance withing teaching you anything about life. Because that is your oblibigation as a human being goddammit, stop watching horror films and embrace the artistic love and beauty that is the great John Cassavetes, the ONLY good American filmmaker.

You are all sheep who only go with what is popular, instead of going with what the critics tell you to go with, for they know what's best for you.

...

Ok, obviously those last few paragraphs are very tongue in check, but yeah. I'm just giving examples of why I think the word "kitsch" has long outlived it's usefulness as a derogatory remark. It's a word that's only important to critics who like the taste of their own spooge, and what critics define as "fine art" today, dead sharks or whatever the f*ck it is, it just isn't that important, it doesn't speak to you or me, it's just something for the people belonging to the so called "high" culture to circle jerk to.

Critics want us to think like robots, who must use deductive reasoning revolving around a specific criteria before we can decide if something has artistic value or not. I'm tired of being told that human emotion is a terrible terrible thing, it's what makes life worth living, and it is mankind's most unique attribute. Kant once said that appeal to emotion is barbaric, well then, we are all barbarians.

So fine art can go f*ck itself, art is dead.

Long live kitsch.

Last edited by boo boo; 04-27-2010 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Modern Art is so pretentious it's almost a joke, now. Hell, it is a joke.

I only associate creatively with people who view art for what it really is - an expression of the inner self or view of the outside world through the eyes of another human being... not a contest to be a esoteric and pretentious as possible. I could care less if it's "cliche" or "kitsch" or "unenlightened" or "uneducated" of me to prefer Surrealism to a black dot leaning slightly to the left on a bare canvas. They call it "challenging", and I call bullshit.

Modern Art critics have pretty much been proven to be completely up there own asses and all about impressing other snobs. I've seen cases where the critics were shown "paintings" done by the researcher's children of the pre-school to kindergarten age, supposedly done by a world renound artist that all the European critics raved for. Not surprisingly, they took the bait and praised the art as genius.

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Old 04-26-2010, 08:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Modern Art is so pretentious it's almost a joke, now. Hell, it is a joke.

I only associate creatively with people who view art for what it really is - an expression of the inner self or view of the outside world through the eyes of another human being... not a contest to be a esoteric and pretentious as possible. I could care less if it's "cliche" or "kitsch" or "unenlightened" or "uneducated" of me to prefer Surrealism to a black dot leaning slightly to the left on a bare canvas. They call it "challenging", and I call bullshit.

Modern Art critics have pretty much been proven to be completely up there own asses and all about impressing other snobs. I've seen cases where the critics were shown "paintings" done by the researcher's children of the pre-school to kindergarten age, supposedly done by a world renound artist that all the European critics raved for. Not surprisingly, they took the bait and praised the art as genius.
It's kind of weird to me that you choose to pick surrealism as some kind of non-pretentious counterpoint to all the art in the world that you perceive as pretentious. It's not like the surrealists were any different from other movements in terms of pretentiousness. Not that it affects my enjoyment of the artwork personally. I like all kinds of different art including, potentially, "a black dot leaning slightly to the left on a bare canvas". Just sayin'.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I picked Surrealism just as an example because it doesn't go out of it's way to non-conform or defy categorization, like say "a black dot leaning slightly to the left on a bare canvas".
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I say gentlemen, this female can speak quite eloquently.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I say gentlemen, this female can speak quite eloquently.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I picked Surrealism just as an example because it doesn't go out of it's way to non-conform or defy categorization, like say "a black dot leaning slightly to the left on a bare canvas".
But in the context of it's time it was going out of it's way to non-conform and defy categorization. That shouldn't affect your enjoyment of it one way or another though.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just feel we've reached a point where it isn't about the art anymore, but the high society that eats it up.
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