Kitsch Nation - What's It All About?

Welcome to FABULOUS Kitsch Nation! A place to enjoy good "bad" art and culture. Here you will find kitsch to look at, kitsch to read, and read about, and you will learn where to find kitsch, and kitschy places! Millions, no tens of millions of Americans (and wannabe Americans) have kitsch in their homes, offices, garages, barns, trailers, bathrooms, and waiting rooms, and so should you. Thanks to postmodernism, it's now the cool thing to collect.

This website will offer an (evolving) directory of " Roadside Kitsch," a database of places and locations in Kitsch Nation you can visit to see and experience Kitsch Kultur in the US.

You can also contribute to Kitsch Nation!  Feel free to send us information and articles about the kitsch in you life and your area.  If we use it, we will credit you and provide a back link to your blog or website if you want (and why wouldn't you want one?).

What is kitsch?  Well, if you are a trendy postmodernist, it's whatever you want it to be of course, but to get a little objective, the concept does have a bit of history.  The word is, of course, German (for rubbish) and it originated in Munich during the up and coming era of Modern Art in the late 19th century.

Kitsch was a catch all term for contemporary mass-produced art that was not "modern," and included art that was sentimental, art that appealed to emotion or unsubtle cultural themes and icons rather that reason and abstracted aesthetics.  Kitsch is also art that parodies sentimental or unsubtle cultural themes and icons, and is humorous, ironic, or campy. If you want to read more about kitsch (and why wouldn't you), try this member of the art history faculty at the University of Chicago on for size.

To move beyond visual art, the concept of kitsch can be applied to literature and other aspects of culture, and the cultural icons themselves, that reflect the values and attributes of kitsch: Dollywood, Nicholas Sparks, Dr. Phil, Bigfoot, Depak Chopra. You get the idea.

Kitsch is NOT art that is technically incompetent.  No one at the Guggenheim or the Met hates Thomas Kinkade or Norman Rockwell because they could not paint. They hate them because of what they painted.

Now that we know what kitsch is, what is Kitsch Nation?  Its the good old U. S. A. of course.  If kitsch is accessible and popular art, then what country glorifies the vulgar (as in Latin for "the people") like no other?  The land of Elvis!