Kitsch & Beauty is a record of 21 speeches and presentations made at The Representational Art Conference 2014 (TRAC2014). Roger Scruton and Juliette Aristides gave keynote addresses, and the artist Odd Nerdrum came from his home near Paris to join in a public conversation with Dr. Scruton.
What readers will not discern from the written record is that this was an extraordinary event – a joyful gathering of more than 350 representational artists and thinkers from around the world finding community and relishing the opportunity to share in ideas about representational art. New friendships were made and old friendships reaffirmed; there were strong discussions about issues confronting representation were addressed by thought leaders in media, museum curators, artists, and professors; fascinating demonstrations by skillful painters, sculptors and draftsmen shared technique and nourished the audience’s studio practice. The conference fed the mind, the heart, and the hand.
What readers will discern from this book is that the conversation about representation is broad and deep, with global dimensions. It includes papers by authors from China, Africa, Europe and the United States written about an extraordinary range of topics that concern the representational art community. The keynote addresses given by Scruton and Aristides have been transcribed and edited, and fascinating insights into life in Odd Nerdrum's studio have been included. This is an essential text for readers interested in the thinking that is being shared among people working to establish meaningful aesthetics for representational art in the 21st Century.