Skinnywench’s chosen word for the week – kitsch – has an interesting background according to Wikipedia:
Kitsch (/ˈkɪtʃ/; loanword from German) is a low-brow style of mass-produced art or design using popular or cultural icons. Kitsch generally includes unsubstantial or gaudy works or decoration, or works that are calculated to have popular appeal.
The concept of kitsch is applied to artwork that was a response to the 19th-century art with aesthetics that convey exaggerated sentimentality and melodrama. Hence, kitsch art is closely associated with sentimental art. Kitsch is also related to the concept of camp, because of its humorous, ironic nature.
Kitsch is usually used to reference decoration; for example “the living room was decorated in cheap 1950s style monster movie kitsch.”
As a descriptive term, kitsch originated in the art markets of Munich in the 1860s and the 1870s, describing cheap, popular, and marketable pictures and sketches….
Hermann Broch argues that the essence of kitsch is imitation: kitsch mimics its immediate predecessor with no regard to ethics—it aims to copy the beautiful, not the good. According to Walter Benjamin, kitsch is, unlike art, a utilitarian object lacking all critical distance between object and observer; it “offers instantaneous emotional gratification without intellectual effort, without the requirement of distance, without sublimation”