Passepartout is all about documentaries and visual stuff I find worth seeing.

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The Kitsch Update: Christina Rosen and her amazing ceramic dogs

There is a small part of me that wants to say ‘this is kitsch’. And then there’s another part of me that tells this small part of me to get lost – pff, you and your categories and concepts! – this is magic, you know it is…

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The kitsch update: Elena Eremina’s still life with hamsters

It’s official: all the good kitsch comes from Russia. Or at least a good part of it. I hope you’ve seen Svetlana Petrova’s cat, Zarathustra, making classical paintings ‘better’. Or Svetlana Novikova’s crazy coloured animal paintings. Well, Elena Eremina photographs her hamsters, in the kitchen, after her husband and child go to sleep. The result is this photo series with a Flemish still life painting air in contrast with these too-cute-to-sweet sentimental scenes. I find this contrast surprising, terrible and lovely at the same time.

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The kitsch accident: when old paintings, onions and eggs collide

Here is your dose of kitsch. When art meets onions and broken eggs, this is the result. It doesn’t happen often, and when it happens it’s not really an accident. In this case, Zeren Badar caused these particular accidents. He says he is hugely influenced by dadaism and neo-dadaism. He creates three dimensional collages with found objects, food and cheaply printed old paintings. Bottom line, the recipe is to take on per-existing work of art, put some onion, put some egg, some objects you find or just paint on them somehow, and take photos of the resulted collage. Yes, try at home.

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The Island of Doctor Moreau: the surprising-kitschy-collage version

Andrea Mastrovito makes a lot of stuff, and most of it is worth seeing so check her website and look carefully. What caught my eye is – predictable, right? – this amazing-kitschy-surprising-collage, a recreation of the animal kingdom, her own version of Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, now called The Island of Dr Mastrovito with version I and II. Well. Truth is her version is much more gentle than the original story, in which a mad doctor does all sorts of experiments hoping to transform animals into people. Mastrovito only cuts all these animals from nature books and puts them all together in this arresting installation.

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The magic, the kitsch and the love: Svetlana Novikova’s surprising animal art

What? You don’t like this? No, no, this cannot be. It’s 7 in the morning, autumn is coming, days are shorter… Can you tell me without blinking that you can take a look at this tomcat below and not get a warm and fuzzy feeling? I certainly do get that feeling and with this discovery, my love for kitsch art got an upgrade. These remarkable paintings are made by Russian painter Svetlana Novikova, and on her website she says her goal is to create one of a kind, exclusive original pieces of art that have a personal emotional impact. It seems to me she succeeds pretty well in doing that.

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The kitsch update: Zarathustra – the obese cat – improving some famous paintings

I really really think kitsch is underestimated. And Svetlana Petrova’s huge red cat stays proof of that! There’s something so hilariously-disturbing in seeing these collages, that they really blow my mind. And someone who comes up with the idea of adding an obese cat called Zarathustra to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, well, that’s someone I’d like to meet.

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