The mission behind the Museum of Bad Art, located in Brookline, MA, is to celebrate the “labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other form.” In other words, the space was created to honor the work of artists who have been unable to otherwise have their work featured or acknowledged.
Since 1994, the MOBA has been working to bring traditionally bad art to wide audiences both locally and internationally. They currently have three brick-and-mortar galleries operating around the Massachusetts area and they have built an international audience as well using different platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and their newsletter.
The collection they’ve amassed over the years totals to roughly 800 pieces but, due to limited gallery space, they typically showcase between 50-70 pieces at a time. These pieces rotate periodically and traveling pieces have made their way to the galley as well.
Although rotating exhibitions will make appearances, the home collections at MOBA are cleverly named and themed to fit the mission of the museum. The Poor Traits (or portrait) collection features several paintings of different figures where the artists have made some… interesting choices as far as the portions, positions, and subjects being depicted.
They also have a Dopplehangers collection which features a series of paintings where, intentionally and often unintentionally, an artist painted a figure that wound up with a stark resemblance to a famous person. One painting from this collection titled Aura of Decision features a figure with a striking resemblance to 80’s movie star Molly Ringwald with a crone and cherub peaking over each of her shoulders.
Among the other collections include an In the Nood collection featuring abstractly proportioned nude figures, The Sports Section featuring paintings with physics-defying sports moves, and MOBA Zoo which displays a series of animal paintings and photographs. MOBA’s mission allows even objectively bad artist’s voices to be heard because, as you may agree, even bad art can come from a meaningful place and deserves recognition.