Just look around on any given Saturday... wannabe-hipster teens and scenster-indie twenty-somethings pick their way through rows and bins of merchandise at Urban Outfitters... Specializing in a mix of new hip subculture, "vintage" apparel, and kitschy home decor, they seem to be one of the mainstream leaders of old/new bohemian-chic style for younger generations. Not to mention, along with the grassroots, turned-forest-fire online movement of Etsy, crafters, buyers, and sellers can gather online to find their love for all things vintage. And I don't just mean 'vintage'... I mean all things KITSCH. Cheesy woodland creature statues? Yep. Macrame owl pot holders? Yep. Paintings of doe-eyed, freckle face, big headed children? You betcha!
Some consider this new love for kitsch as just a current trend, others consider it an 'aesthetic style', (much like steampunk or noir).
So, whether it's a trend or a lasting subculture, it's beginning to appear in art.
The first time I noticed this was a few years ago.
You've got your doe-eyed girls, like Audrey Kawasaki, whose influence may be more from Japanese art and manga.
You've also got
with a more realistic approach, like
(Pictured left is
And, for anyone who's ever eaten at a disturbingly tacky Mexican restaurant,no doubt you have seen those old Mexican senorita pin-ups and bullfighter posters. There's
even an artist for that... (see Brian Viveros.)
Finally, you've got your artists who keep their work more cartoonish, like Lili Piri and Kelly Vivanco.
And finally, what is more kitsch inspired than a pathwork deer figurine? Illustrator Melissa Haslam has that also...
So again, whether this is new style on the rise, or just a small movement by young artists, it's an interesting thought, in my opinion.
While some of their art has been considered more "illustrative" or commercial, galleries throughout L.A., Australia, and Tokyo are marketing their work as art.
As with any new ideas, the market often becomes
oversaturated with the work of proteges and copy-cats, but before it entirely does, I don't think the younger art viewers mind it.
But what about other generations?
Is it something a lot of people could like?
Should it be in galleries? Or simply illustrations in magazines?
I'd like to hear what people think!
"Sisters" Kelly Vivanco
"Apparition" Melissa Haslam