The Best of the Worst in Art

Tonight, in Dedham, Massachusetts – in the converted basement of the Dedham Community Theatre, right outside the men’s bathroom, we found the greatest art exhibits outside the Louvre.  Unlike the the so-called “main stream” galleries of Boston’s artsier districts, this gallery celebrates the kind of art you could do, if you loved art, had no formal training and absolutely no artistic sense.

This is the Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA as those in the know call it. It opened at this location in 1995, and after opening their  third gallery location recently, now has over 600 pieces in the collection on rotating display. By far the best part – for those new to art, the MOBA team has put together detailed descriptions (when needed) to help you interpret the artists feelings and motivations.

Here are four of our favorites (with MOBA’s amazing descriptions), but you can visit their official website to view their entire collection by clicking here.

“My Darling’s Chestnut Mare” – Watercolor on Cotton by G.P.

An exceptionally startling piece on cotton. The astonishing depiction of a Snow White look-alike with truly tiny hands, feeding cherries to the most cheerful and somewhat diminuitive nag will delight MOBA audiences for years to come.

This piece was framed as you now see it by the artist. The piece was hung for more than 20 years in the artist’s home – a testament to the adhesive quality of scotch tape.

Mana Lisa –  Oil on canvas by Andrea Schmidt

A cross-gendered interpretation of the Leonardo da Vinci classic, Mana Lisa‘s nose is critical to the composition, offsetting the dialogue between the foreground and profoundly varnished background. Taking a cue from the best selling book The Da Vinci Code, anagrams offered by the work’s title can perhaps contribute to a deeper understanding of the work:

Ferret in a Brothel –  Oil on Canvas – Anonymous

Master painters as varied as Titian, Picasso, Gauguin and Van Gogh have found prostitutes in their work environment to be a rich and interesting source of thematic material. The anonymous painter of this work has inexplicably chosen to depict a ferret as a “lady of the evening” in a Victorian room featuring flowered wallpaper and luxurious velvet curtains. She wears only a long pearl necklace and gazes provocatively at the viewer as she dances unashamadly to the music playing on the vintage Victrola record player. The reversed eighth note may hint at secret meaning in the music being played backwards, e.g. “Paul is dead”, or, more likely, a reflection of the artist’s unfamiliarity with proper musical notation.