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artofbonsai.org • View topic - Where Are The Innovations?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:01 pm 
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I think we need to change our views on kitsch and not regard it as always bad by default.
Just look a Thomas Kinkade. He became very successful and famous, doing high quality kitsch all the way.
http://www.kinkadeonline.com/paintings/ ... Chapel.jpg
(I look at that chapel and mountain scenery behind it, I can't help but be affected by the beauty of the scene. At the same time, I am laughing at myself because the painting is so kitschy, it screams it out loud.)
http://www.kinkadeonline.com


Last edited by Attila Soos on Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kitsch, not matter which way you look at it is an exercise in either absurdity or condescension. It is absurd if it is an attempt to do something different consciously seeking a difference and not expressing a real artistic insight coming from the soul. It is condescension when it is a conscious effort to "put it in your face". For better or worse it is a quasi-artistic method of mocking those who follow that art form.
However I guess the argument could be made under today's standards that this kind of response makes it art. It seems to always come back to the meaning of art. That ranks right up there with the meaning of life. There are now and probably never will be, an accepted definition for art.
A number of years ago I visited a friend in Toledo Ohio. He took me over to Bowling Green University to go through the music library. At the time the stair way down to the basement had some ceramic pieces of art on the walls around and down the stairs. Try not to misunderstand me on this, I am not speaking metaphorically but literally, the ceramic pieces of art looked like someone had slung feces against the walls. Is this art? Someone thinks/thought so. Is it Kitsch? Probably.
What I got out of the min-exhibit was amusement that the people who got talked into hanging this Crap, (notice with a capitol C) thinking they were making a statement of some kind. It only said to me: Look at I'm an idiot, I paid for the stuff isn't it wonderful? Any way this is the world we live in and the only solution I can see for myself is to make bonsai that are honest to me, that please me, and to express my inner soul.
You can like them, you can hate them, you can love to hate them, or hate to love them. Without guile, they are what they are and in some way they are me. A lot of stuff out there is nothing more than superficial attempts at being DIFFERENT, PURPOSEFULLY INSULTING and or CONTROVERSIAL. Real art is as far from this as shoe polish is from powdered yeast.


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Vance
let me go back to these harsh words you used above: DIFFERENT, PURPOSEFULLY INSULTING and CONTROVERSIAL. I have been thinking a lot about that in the last few days. Because of this stone, my lady found in the woods:
We are talking about some 20 pounds of massive limestone. When you look at it from one side, it is a perfect skull. Might be a dinosaur or a dragon. Believe me, it does not take any phantasy to see that. But it is not a skull, just a stone. It is not a suiseki, too. An astonishing stone, different, controversial and somehow even insulting.
How likely is it to find such a stone? Should I have thrown it away, because it does not fit any rule of bonsai? Should I have said: 'I put you on my window bench, but keep away from the real art'?. I could not do so. Instead I bought a cornus alba and ? forgive me all ? planted it 'over the rock'. I will show that as soon as possible.
Now: Is this art? Is this punk? Is this kitsch? Or is it just an idea, that does not need a category, because it is unique anyway?
Sometimes, Vance, I think I should stop writing and thinking and just do things. Others may discuss then, what it is. And if they think it is controversial ? is this not their own fault?


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