For every great master painter of genres throughout history, including the Abstract Painting Art, you can find hundreds, perhaps thousands, of artists whose work will never see the outside of their home or studio, or the home of their family members. These artists are like the “American Idol” contestants who insist that they sing well, regardless of all evidence to the contrary. They make art not because they are any good at it, but since they love doing it.
There exists nothing as contemporary and abstract as bad art. Bad art has occurred throughout history, but with the arrival of contemporary art, modern art, and abstract art, which question popular and standard conceptions of beauty, bad art has flourished. The essence of all modern art is doing away with convention, and that includes whatever we consider good (or beautiful) art and bad art.
There’s actually a place on the planet where these problems aren’t just observed, but celebrated: The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA), in Dedham, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. (Their second branch is in nearby Somerville.) MOBA includes a permanent variety of 500 items of, his or her motto states, “art too bad to get ignored.” Their stated goal is, as his or her founders assert, “to celebrate the labor of artists whose works will be displayed and appreciated in hardly any other forum.”
MOBA was founded in 1994, after antique dealer Scott Wilson found a painting, “Lucy within the Field with Flowers” (which became the museum’s signature piece), in the trash. He showed it to a few friends, who suggested which he start a collection of similar pieces of Abstract Painting Acrylic. Initially, the initial collection was shown in Wilson’s friends’ home, however it soon became so popular and large that they had to go it to some more permanent place.
MOBA doesn’t just exhibit any bad art, so my attempts at portraiture (which are really just stick figures) wouldn’t allow it to be into the museum. Works accepted into MOBA should be original and have serious intent, nevertheless they will need to have significant but interesting flaws. The curators of MOBA refuse to present art that’s deliberately kitsch, or harmful to bad’s sake. At any rate, MOBA is the only museum in the world dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the worst. Its collection is actually a tribute for the sincerity in the artists who preserved their works even when something has gone horribly wrong during this process. In other words, MOBA celebrates an artist’s straight to fail, as well as fail gloriously.
The existence of MOBA, some say, is really a response to the advent of Contemporary Art Abstract Paintings in early twentieth century, which made art more esoteric and much less accessible for the public. To most Americans, museums are intimidating places ruled by experts whose tastes are mysterious and impossible for most of us to comprehend. MOBA is within direct vhhhlg to this trend. Its curators insist that they’re not parodying art; instead, they’re parodying the art world.
The reaction of most of the museum’s visitors is very interesting. A number of the exhibits get them to laugh out loud, as well as in some ways, frees them up to have opinions and discuss whatever they see. Teachers inside the Boston area have taken their students to MOBA, then to more prestigious museums like Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Their MOBA experiences free them from feeling intimidated and to become more expressive regarding the art there.