THOUGHTS ON KITSCH
The origin of the word kitsch is uncertain; it may be derived from the English word sketch or the German skizze. According to Hans Reimann, the term was coined in painters’ studios as an attack on the older culture.
The word has been employed by theorists such as Theodor Adorno, Hermann Broch, and Clement Greenberg, who sought to define art and kitsch as two opposites. For Broch, kitsch was not the same as bad art; it formed a system of its own. He argued that kitsch involved trying to achieve “beauty” instead of “truth”. According to Gillo Dorfles, the “real” kitsch aspect is to create works that represent a “false interpretation of the aesthetic trends of their age”.
Kitsch as a superstructure for figurative painting was launched at the end of the 20th century by Odd Nerdrum, a consequence of the rules that dominate art: rejection of handcraft, emphasis on aesthetic indifference and the imperative of “belonging to our time”.
Kitsch deals with the eternal human – love, death, drama, jealousy, family… If you seek to imbue your work with pathos, melodrama and sentimentality, then you are a kitsch person. These qualities are not negative, as long as you master them through handcraft. Kitsch is not dry naturalism, but a poem about life.