Monday, 23 March 2009

Kitsch Confessions

I have a confession to make. I, J. Hardspear De La Azotea, love kitsch paintings. I cannot help it. I do not care what this revelation tells you about me… It is just one of those things. When I read definitions of Kitsch, I wonder if I should feel insulted. When Kitsch gets described as being characterised by over-sentimentality, lacking originality, appealing to people ignorant with respect to so called high culture etc, should I be hurt? Would these descriptions apply to me as someone who likes kitch paintings? If so, I’ll accept the labels without being offended. Someone said that real art should not directly appeal to one’s senses. Then, in what manner should it appeal to you, for crying out loud? The other day I saw a print which I distinctly remember from my childhood. It is this painting called ‘Woodland Goddess’ by J.H. Lynch one of the archetypes of kitsch. I remember that it captured my attention from the first time I ever saw it hanging in a colleague of my Dad’s house. I do not wonder about the expression on Mona Lisa’s face, but I do wonder about the expression on this woman’s face. I see daring and a challenge, but also hesitancy and something I cannot place. Plus, the setting is so absurd it makes me want to stare and burst out laughing at the same time. I also like curvaceous women much more that the skinny types. I mean really, one can’t cuddle a bag of bones! Quintessential kitsch - of course - my all time favourite – Tretchikoff. When I was little many people had Tretchikoff prints. Remember the boy with the tear rolling down his face – the orchid and cigarette butt on the steps and everybody’s favourite, the blue Chinese Girl? I do like Turner and Constable just as much. I like classical paintings, baroque, modern, post-modern, abstract, surreal, portraits, still life paintings, landscapes – what is wrong with liking so called kitsch as well? I certainly do not have the skill to create or even reproduce something like Woodland Goddess or Chinese Girl! Some people will put plastic flowers and garish gold plated clocks etc also in the category of kitch, but to me there is still a difference between crap and kitch. Some people also confuse kitsch with avant-garde category art such as pop art. I do like pop art as well – such as Jackie by Andy Warhol. Maybe I should get some kitsch blog template… or Pop Art?

5 comments:

momcat said...

Hey, who you calling a bag of bones! My mom has boy with a tear on his face. We always thought he looked a bit like my brother as a child. That's probably why she bought it.

angel said...

Heh heh, I also like some of the stuff they "define" as kitsch!

hock said...

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Spear said...

momcat - oops! am I discriminating? No offence meant!!

angel - you should do a post if you haven't already.

hock - do fuck off would you!

Pamela said...

Seems to be a time for confessions!!!