Monday, 12 November 2012

What is Kitsch?

The following article is an except from one originally published on the Ji Ji Kiki blog. To read it in full, click here.

One of the first types of jewellery I made when Ji Ji Kiki first started was kitsch jewellery.
Over the years Ji Ji Kiki has evolved and expanded to include other styles of jewellery as well as non jewellery items, including bags, plushies and clothing.

The term 'kitsch' was popularised in the 1930s by art theorists as a derogatory term, seeking to distance the avant garde ‘proper art’ from the more popular, mass-produced and culturally threatening artwork preferred by the general populous. Kitsch artwork was deemed sentimental, unoriginal and tacky-purely for the masses.

These days kitsch is looked upon with a little more kindness, though the contemporary view of what kitsch is have changed slightly. Rather than being a snobbish way for discerning art theorists to dismiss art that isn’t to their taste, kitsch is viewed as items that are bright, colourful and fun though the original notions of kitsch being tacky, cheap and mass-produced can still apply.

At Ji Ji Kiki, I try to steer away from the mass-produced. The majority of the items that I sell are handmade by indie designers and a lot of the items are cute, colourful and a little quirky.