Kitsch & Thomas Kinkaid

This video explores kitsch art, which is frequently seen as being “low brow” artwork that is for the masses and does not garner respect in the art world.

Is all kitsch artwork inherently in poor taste? Explored are specific examples of kitsch artworks, with commentary on what makes a kitsch artwork effective, or not.

Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Deepti Menon.

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Video Walkthrough

  • Defining Kitsch art
  • Kitsch is popular with the masses
  • Many kitsch artworks were very commercially successful
  • Kitsch is: sentimental, campy, low brow, tacky, poor taste, garish
  • Does the context of the artwork determine if it’s kitsch?
  • “Chinese Girl” by Tretchikoff
  • “Kitsch” is often a pejorative
  • Does the mass marketing of an artwork make it kitsch?
  • Kinkade’s shameless promotion
  • Kinkade: “The Painter of Light”
  • What makes Kinkade so appealing?
  • Art in museums vs. QVC Shopping Network (where Kinkade sold)
  • “Kinkade Signature Galleries”
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