How the Kitsch Questionnaire Helps Kitschmen and Artists Clarify their Values | The Cave of Apelles

Jan-Ove Tuv sits down with Nic Thurman to talk about the difference between kitsch and art, focusing on the Kitsch Questionnaire developed by Öde and Bork Nerdrum (with contributions by Thurman).

Take the quiz here:

Topics from the conversation:

  • The Kitsch Questionnaire wakes people up
  • Improving upon nature vs. everyday concerns
  • Is a great work made with joy?
  • Clarify your values!
  • Embracing the richness of life
  • A great painting can make you a better person
  • Comedy or tragedy?
  • Sensual enjoyment is the kitsch experience
  • Drama – or like it actually happened
  • Is talent given by birth?
  • There are objective standards


▶ Full video:
🎵 Full audio:

The conversation was produced by Bork S. Nerdrum and assisted by Cassander Straumsgaard and Kristine Onsrud.
The centerpiece was a 19th century reproduction of G. F. Watts’ Hope.

Fergus Ryan
Shaun Roberts
Matthias Proy
Viorel Trandafir
Børge Moe
Jon Harald Aspheim
Dean Anthony
Alastair Blain
Anders Berge Christensen
Eivind Josten
Erik Lasky
Fernando Ramirez
Francisco Salvacao
Hårek Jordal Andreassen
Iver Ukkestad
Jack Entz Warner
Jared Fountain
Marion Bu-Pedersen
Maurice Robbins
Michael Irish
Stacey Evangelista
Tonelise Rugaas
Trym Jordahl
Yngve Hellan


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  • Apelles was asked why he touched and retouched his pictures with so much care, to which he replied:
    "I paint for eternity"