In the Western world, literacy and involvement in art have been an experience only available to a limited number of people from a certain class, for centuries as a high-culture activity. However, the invention of the printing press and the emergence of printing houses have been a dramatic break to diminish the cultural line/border between the classes. The widespread use of literacy has caused the masses to come forward with the concept of “people’s taste” by demanding works and materials to their own liking. Some artists and the upper-class, feeling disturbed about this situation, argued that art should be distanced from the tradition and the taste appealing to the people of lower cultures. While this gradually caused art to become more abstract, it also pushed the masses into a search for a sense of art that could be understood and consumed easily. The obtainment along with modern democracy of the masses' various opportunities and idle time/leisure accelerated this search even more and triggered the birth of the notion "kitsch”. Even though folk public taste and kitsch appear to be intertwined notions in our day, this article's aim is to put forth the fundamental differences between kitsch and folk taste.
Key Words: Kitsch, Folk Taste, Mass Culture, Tastelessness