Roger Scruton writes:
Pre-emptive kitsch offers fake emotions, and at the same time a pretended rejection of the thing it offers.
The kitsch work of art is not a response to the real world, but a fabrication designed to replace it. Yet both producer and consumer conspire to persuade each other that what they feel in and through the kitsch work of art is something deep, important and real.
As I always say, “camp” is intentional, while “kitch” is unintentional. Here’s Scruton:
Having recognised that modernist severity is no longer acceptable, artists began not to shun kitsch but to embrace it, in the manner of Andy Warhol, Allen Jones and Jeff Koons. The worst thing is to be unwittingly guilty of producing kitsch; far better to produce kitsch deliberately, for then it is not kitsch at all but a kind of sophisticated parody. (The intention to produce real kitsch is an impossible intention, like the intention to act unintentionally. Deliberate naivety is really faux naïf.) Pre-emptive kitsch sets quotation marks around actual kitsch, and hopes thereby to save its artistic credentials.