Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Gross Oversimplification

I'm muddling around thinking about Art, and Kitsch, and things of that sort. Here's a gross oversimplification:
  • Fine Art gives us the old content, old ideas, old meaning, with a new look or style.
  • Commercial Art gives us new content, new ideas, with the same old look or style.
  • Kitsch gives us the same old content with the same old look or style.

Something, presumably, gives us new content in a new style.

Fine Art pretends to do this, but generally does not. To succeed, Fine Art is generally a mass of references (but heavens to Betsy, it certainly isn't derivative, it's referencing previous work in a knowing fashion, not simply copying ideas. Ahem.) only this time in welded steel that has been corroded in the artist's own urine for 12 months.

Commercial Art presents new clothes, the current bride, the next generation car, almost always in an existing style or look. The PR firm pulling it together has selected a look, perhaps with a tweak "but make it more blue, and with more motion blur", and wants the artist to present the new object with the old style.

Kitsch is just the same dogs playing poker as ever, the same porcelain figurines in the same color palettes, over and over.

I suspect that anything that gives us new content, new ideas, new meanings, dressed up in a new look, a new style, is simply incomprehensible.

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