Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Museum of Bad Art

I recently stumbled on a link to The Museum of Bad Art, also known as MOBA. I found it comical, offensive, and refreshing all at once. Since we've been spending so much time looking at the beautiful and trying to define it, maybe it would help us to look at its opposite: the ugly. I'm not completely sold that all of the things this museum has are true examples of bad art (so ugliness can be rather subjective too, it seems). Here is a link to an example. It's not that the painter didn't have good brush techniques, or seemed like he was an amateur (as may be evident with some of the other paintings). Sure, his perspective is off, and some of the objects seem misplaced, but I feel that the piece can be described as "cute" or "quaint," and not really as "bad art."
Maybe I'm wrong and "bad art" doesn't necessarily amount to "ugly art," but based on the collection this odd museum has, and on their description of some of the pieces, the two concepts seem to be synonymous for the most part in this case. Though I don't doubt that there is probably a horrible piece of artwork out there that someone thinks is beautiful.
The question that was really on my mind is why anyone would put so much effort into publicizing something they think is bad. It can be argued that one does need to experience bad art to truly appreciate good art, but I don't get the feeling that this is the goal the founders of this museum were striving for. Their "about" section on their website is disappointingly vague, and I am left believing that perhaps the founders really did go through all this trouble just to be snobbish, and have a few chuckles while they were at it.

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