Occasionally people ask me, “What, exactly, is kitsch?” Kitsch is tacky, made-for-the-masses, low-brow, over-the-top, gauche. Think: creepy, huge-eyed paintings of animals & children that were popular in the 70s. While kitsch usually conjures negative connotations, it does play a part in our everyday lives. People attach themselves to the silliest of things, and even the most inane trophies can revive the fondest of memories. Likewise, American culture has picked out its favorite things about itself, and rewritten its popular history as a ubiquitous "retro" fashion. I enjoy diving into this universal nostalgia.
My paintings and accoutrements all celebrate a love of pop history, lounge culture and aesthetics. I relish in all things populuxe, a term describing the sleek, modern wildly popular designs that shaped every product of the 1950s through early 1960s. The populuxe lifestyle sprang up from post-war prosperity, and was infused with the idealism related to new discoveries in space and science. It is the era that brought us fins on cars, brilliantly patterned Formica tables, and the suburban dream. This "retro" aesthetic is experiencing a renaissance today, but not just for myself and my own optimistic nature. I believe that it is also the personality of my generation that came into adulthood at the turn of the century that is saturated with the excitement that comes with having a whole new millennium to be shaped and defined. We find ourselves looking back to what pop culture tells us is The Golden Age of America for inspiration for the future.
The vitality of the colors, designs and images from the populuxe era proclaim an admirable optimism about the future and joy for life. The populuxe design motifs and images I use reflect the attitude that anyone can live in luxury. They are symbols that represent a fond nostalgia for an era I know only secondhand; yet they signify my passion for exuberantly living in the moment.
Consequently, I like to reclaim kitsch as a positive word. Flissy’s Kitsch is bubbling with joy. Everyone needs silly, enchanting things in their lives. I'd like to think kitsch makes everything a little more fabulous.
The thing is, I'm not trying to be ironic. This is what I do! I make kitsch! That makes "real artists" squirrrrm! hehe.