John Currin’s 1991 painting Bea Arthur Naked recently sold for 1.9 million dollars at Christie’s auction house.
While not exactly a work that defines bad art—more like bad taste—the painting of Bea does call into question the intensely subjective nature of the visual arts.
Is something good if someone is willing to buy it for a large sum of money? Just where are the lines drawn between the great, the terrible, the completely inept and the merely competent works of art?.
Can someone purposely make “bad art?”
The works in the collection are acquired through various means, with some donated, some rescued from thrift stores or alongside the curb, and some purchased around the world with the intention of giving them to the museum.
Currently MOBA’s collection numbers over 600, and much like any other gallery or museum, not everything can be exhibited all the time.
However, some of MOBA’s collection is available for viewing online, with a few examples chosen here by yours truly.
While never being a perfect substitute for traveling to the museum, at least here is a chance to experience some of these special works immediately…
|CREW CUT DREAMS
10″ x 9″, oil on art board
18″ x 24″, oil on canvas
28″ x 20″, oil on canvas
|LADY WITH BIG PANTS
4ft x 5.5ft, oil on canvas
|MAMA AND BABE
Sarah Irani, 1995
24″ x 30″, Acrylic on Canvas
|RONAN THE PUG
18″ x 24″, acrylic on canvas board
16″ x 20″, oil on canvas
|TWO TREES IN LOVE
Acrylic on canvas
Many of these and the other works on display, which often are both much larger and more vibrantly bad, have to be digested in person. So whenever you are in the Boston area, you must make The Museum Of Bad Art—their slogan, “Art too bad to be ignored,” one of your key destinations.
You can visit MOBA’s web site at https://www.museumofbadart.org/ where you can learn more about the museum sign up for their free newsletter, and shop from their store.
You can thank me later.