Kitsch in Sync: A Consumer's Guide to Bad Taste

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9780859651523: Kitsch in Sync: A Consumer's Guide to Bad Taste
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Ever since the arbiters of taste first took their mothers' flying ducks off the walls of their suburban semis and displayed them proudly alongside their Bauhaus furniture, or chuckled knowingly at the musical toilet rolls in each other's bathroom, kitsch has become part of the style-setter's anti-style.

Peter Ward explores the global culture of kitsch and charts a course through the shallowest waters of trivial bad taste that encompasses all aspects of life - from fashion to furnishings, art to artefacts, through movies, TV, pop and personalities.

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While it commences with a somewhat weak prehistory of kitsch in the 19th century, the light style and deceptively glib analysis of this slender volume are a perfect complement to 20th-century trash culture. In what is essentially a history of mass-produced tackiness, Peter Ward provides insightful commentary on how good taste becomes officially bad when its audience changes. He also catches the sense of humor of Jeff Koons, who appears just a few pages past the Bay City Rollers, a juxtaposition I'm sure Koons would enjoy. Kitsch in Sync is worthwhile for its novel take on '80s new romantic music and for the illustrations of the postwar culture of disposable and ugly home furnishings.

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