Ever since its induction to theoretical literature, the notion of art has been regarded as a form of expression with imitation as part of its nature, and related to the concept of reality. This has led to the valuing of artworks on the basis of their imitative merit for centuries. Invented in the nineteenth century, the camera then quickly achieved the notion of reality so sought after, marking the beginning of great changes in the relationship of art with imitation. The invention of the camera, as a precursor to new pursuits and genres in art, also coincides with the advent of the concept of kitsch as historically defined as cheap, low, counterfeit and fake. In academic literature, kitsch appears as an intensely sentimental art form taking root during the Industrial Revolution. Most widely encountered in art history in the mediums of sculpture, painting and ceramics, kitsch can also be observed in present-day photography. The main aim of this study is to introduce the similarities between photography and kitsch via Martin Parr’s project “Autoportrait”. In this study, the self-portraits of Martin Parr have been analyzed via the document analysis method and it has been concluded that these photographs bear kitsch features.
Keywords: Photography, Reality, Mimesis, Kitsch, Martin Parr