I cannot think very long about aesthetics without encountering the concept of kitsch. Perhaps doubly so now in the Christmas season (on which more in coming weeks), but in the rest of the year at all. One of the reasons I haven’t thought that much about aesthetics, I realize, is that I suspect most modern thinkers on the subject would consider many of my favourite artistic creations bad art – if they would consider them art at all. And the concept which would typically be used to describe them is kitsch: works with a lower-class popular appeal.
Among my favourite works of music are several power ballads of the late ’80s and early ’90s, which I enjoy non-ironically. In visual art, I love the bright Indian aesthetic in its popular manifestations: poster art of deities, temples covered in “Christmas” lights. Continue reading