Monday, September 18, 2006

What is "Bad Art"?

[image is from MOBA]

Bad art. We have all seen it. Most of us have seen far more than we would ever want or need to see. We all have opinions on what makes an art work bad but, it can be very difficult to explain to others. And what about when we find that bad art is good? (There is something about the above picture I just like and yet I cringe just thinkning abbout it.)

This all reminds me of a critique I witnessed while I was in art school where three students, all of whom were attempting to make "smart" art and talked up their work quite a bit. After a few minutes of this the professor (I'll leave names out of it) left the room only to come back with a painting that a fellow student had just purchased for a quarter at a local thrift store and placed it on the wall with the students paintings. The painting, a small heavy handed landscape with chunky clouds, a stubby tree, and a small red barn in the corner, yes this was perhaps the most stereotypical example of a bad painting someone could find. When asked which painting was the best hanging on the wall, nearly everyone of the students chose that little thrift store painting. There was something honest about it. Something sure in the way the paint was applied. That moment was enlightening to me and has shaped how I view a lot of art these days.

But what exactly is bad art?

Well, go and read "Art World FAQs # 2 – Bad Art" the second installment from the Australian art blog, The Art Life, regarding the Art World. Their attempt to answer the question on what is bad art is quite accurate and witty. Well worth the read. Also of note is the first in this series of posts, "Art World FAQs #1 - Artists".

If you have not yet seen enough bad art in your life you may want to head on over to the Museum of Bad Art, self described as "the world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms". Ahh, who could ask for anything more. Just goes to show you, there is no accounting for taste.

3 Responses to “What is "Bad Art"?”

Terry said...
September 18, 2006 at 9:18 PM

My wife just got the MOBA book from a friend. I hope my objects never make the cut.

Terry said...
September 18, 2006 at 9:21 PM

on second thought, at least I'll be published.

Scott said...
September 21, 2006 at 5:10 AM

Haha, perhaps you should save a few dollars and resort to self publishing first. Or find acceptance in being an unknown good painter than a well known bad one. What to do, what to do...

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