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artofbonsai.org • View topic - Kitsch: the good and the bad. Bonsai: art or kitsch?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:15 am 
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That may be the first sign of the coming bureaucratisation and commodification of the art we love, Will.
I hope not, but it certainly has the potential to go that way.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:19 am 
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I don't think you are any farther off topic than I am. But, you have to admit that a bonsai has a far shorter shelf life in the hands of the art patron than a Monet would. You are of course correct some of these old masterpieces would deteriorate quickly but it would be in years not months unless we delve into the realm of the absurd in the way of care.
My point is that even if an average collector of art were to procure a wold class bonsai this person would of necessity have to know enough to make arrangements for its care, and in many cases care taker. You could today buy a Monet and take a few months or weeks to research how to care for the painting. You can't do that with a bonsai, you better have plans in place up front or you are going to lose the tree, or at least destroy its artistic value. Of course if we take the idea of bonsai being an international commodity there are the various departments of agriculture that have to be dealt with nation wide and world wide.
That in its self presents a significant risk to the buyer of such an item. These government entities are a power unto themselves and most of the time they will look at a bonsai, regardless of who created it, as a plant to be fumigated, washed, quarantined and killed if possible. Then it can be burned which is really what they wanted to do in the first place.
As a work of art bonsai is out there by itself, it is unique.


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Mike,
Why feel chastised? It probably was kitsch according to the definitions given here.
I have said frequently 'a bonsai is a small tree in a container that touches my soul' and 'a bonsai is art if it speaks, if it creates emotions. Positive or negative emotions.'
Both of my statements are clearly a call for kitsch according to the modern definition.
So do I have to rephrase: 'bonsai is a small tree that speaks to my intellect', and ' a bonsai MUST NOT try to arouse emotions, it must only touch the intellect, otherwise it is kitsch'.
Or do I just ignore this and openly and proudly accept that I am a proponent and creator of kitsch? But not as much kitsch as many others? Where is the boundary?
Walter


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:35 am 
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Boy am I going to stick my neck out on this one, but before I do I want all of you to know I am not pointing this at anyone on this list, it is just a general observation.
THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, THOSE WHO DO SOMETHING AND THOSE WHO TRY TO DEFINE WHAT THE OTHER GUY JUST DID.


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Last edited by Attila Soos on Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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I'd suggest a third kind, Vance.
THOSE WHO DO THINGS AND ALSO TRY TO DEFINE WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING
Sometimes that is a strategy that can have retrospective impact, as people seek to criticise your right, ability and motive to comment upon others. I'm thinking specifically of the attitude many have taken to Pablo Picasso's observations about his fellow artists' work. His comments are usually derided as arrogance.


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I'm probably way off-base here. But does nerd come from Odd Nerdum? And is that a "pen-name" anyway? And if any of this is true, isn't this another twist on thew art-kitsch conundrum?


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