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If art and kitsch are the opposite sides of the same coin, how did kitsch develop after the cultural revolution of the avant-gardes? Much has been written about what the 20th century meant to art, but not much of this has gone deeper into the evolution of the concept which is both the antithesis and stimulus of art.
With the premise that kitsch is a concept and not a style that can be aesthetically recognizable at first sight, this essay reviews its origins, etymology, and blossoming in the 19th century historical framework, as well as its peculiar tour de forcé with the art of Romanticism. Thus, this text attempts to discuss the role played by kitsch in a postmodern society that has turned cultural goods into simple merchandise, has recovered the taste for the romantic nostalgia and escapism, and has blurred the barriers between high and low culture, making it harder and harder to discern the difference between good and bad taste.
text: Nando Vivas
Translation: Irene Martinez Rey
Design: Franziska Opel