The world is filled with bad art, but not all bad art is bad enough to make it into the Museum of Bad Art. That's right, the very real Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA, is looking for art so bad it's good. The Massachusetts museum proudly showcases the work in three galleries, one in the basement of a community theater in Somerville and two in nearby Brookline.
The origins of the museum lie in the painting "Lucy In the Field With Flowers," which antiques dealer Scott Wilson found in a pile of trash in 1994. He showed it to his friend John Riley, who became so enamored of the painting he framed it. Wilson continued to bring Riley pieces of bad art he found at flea markets and on sidewalks, and Riley began to showcase them in his newly white-walled basement.
The staff at MOBA feel that bad art takes just as much time and effort to produce as more respected works, and that it deserves to be showcased in the same way as "good art." That’s why they chose the guiding motto, “Art too bad to be ignored.”
And Frank, who says the museum receives up to 20 submissions a month, insist the work must be original and sincere to make it into the collection.
“It has to be a piece of art that was an earnest attempt to make an artistic statement,” he explains, noting that bad art made on purpose won’t make the cut. “People submit things all the time that are cynical in an attempt to get publicity.”
Once the art is deemed bad enough for the museum, Frank “interpretates” each piece, giving it a title and attempting to analyze the inspirations behind the treasured piece of trash.