Does art have to be beautiful to be of value? Apparently not – is the answer if we look at the number of people that visit the Museum of Bad Art!! I have come across a story on the Daily Mail about these paintings and the growing interest amongst visitors.
More than 8 000 people flock to Museum of Bad Art, which features a transgender interpretation of DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, called Mana Lisa. The pieces have been found in car boot sales, rubbish bins or donated by art critics.
Art can be so Bad that it is actually Good!!
The museum is the brainchild of art dealer Scott Wilson who in 1993 discovered his first piece of bad art in the trash.
He picked up the painting, intending to chuck it out and keep the frame, but decided the picture was “so bad, it’s good”.
The first gallery, in Boston, Massachusetts, was opened a year later in a private home but soon moved to the Debham Community Theatre’s basement. It became so popular it expanded to two other spots – the Somerville Theatre in 2008 and a gallery in the Brookline Access Television offices last year.
Selection Criteria for Bad Art
The attraction’s executive director Louise Reilly Sacco said: “We have very stringent selection criteria, much of it exactly the same as traditional art museums.
“Works must be original, sincere and interesting. They must communicate, or try to communicate, something. But something must have gone spectacularly wrong, too. It could be an unfortunate subject, overwrought imagery, an experiment in colour, perspective or design that failed or an artist who barely knows which end of the paintbrush is up.
“The paintings appear to make people smile because everyone leaves our museums with a huge grin on their face. They understand we love these works and are celebrating them, rather than mocking them.” [Info from Daily Mail]
Deborah Solomon of The New York Times Magazine noted that the attention the Museum of Bad Art receives is part of a wider trend of museums displaying “the best bad art”. The museum has been criticized for being anti-art, but the founders deny this, responding that its collection is a tribute to the sincerity of the artists who persevered with their art despite something going horribly wrong in the process. According to co-founder Marie Jackson, “We are here to celebrate an artist’s right to fail, gloriously.”
When people visit an art gallery to view these paintings which others might perceive to be bad works of Arts, they are given a value that is an insurable interest. We might even reflect and compare this with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Tower will never be recognized as top quality architecture, yet it is one of the most famous pieces of construction and millions of tourists have posed for photographs pretending to “hold up” the leaning tower to prevent it from falling!!