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Photo Of The Day
MOBA - The Museum of Bad Art
In 1999, I went to Boston, and went to the Museum of Bad Art.
I had spotted an ad for the Museum in the tourist magazine left in the hotel room. It jogged my memory. I had already heard about MOBA a couple of years ago. I read something on the World Wide Web about it, and remembered enough to be curious enough to go and see it. It was in Dedham. At the Community Centre of Dedham. I didn't know where that was. I thought it was a suburb of Boston. It sort of was, with the same relation to Boston as Gosford is to Sydney. I caught several trains, and arrived at Dedham. I was in the middle of nowhere. The train station was the size of a bus stop, with a large car park beside it. I could see buildings way in the distance, so walking did not appear to be an option. I eventually bummed a lift to the town, sat and watched the Flag Day parade, and then found the Community Centre.
It was basically a film theatre. I headed for the loo, and found MOBA. There was a large underground basement, and at the end of it was the men's loo. That basement room outside the men's room was the Museum of Bad Art. The paintings were amazing. I browsed in amazement. There were paintings along the steps, along the walls, and along the flimsy partition that gave some privacy to the loo. The paintings were hilarious, but they would have been nothing but mediocre art except for the professionally prepared captions beside each one. The whole thing was obviously a huge joke, but it was very, very funny. There were some appalling paintings. Captions read "Rescued from the tip by John Doe." or "Recovered from the trashcan outside the house of Jane Doe, by Roger Saviour." etc.
I shall quote some samples. "Guarding the Rock" - an inexplicable portrayal of a colony of seals several hundred feet above a Mediterranean seascape.
"Goddess Fries Fish" - as voluptuous as it is lacking in emotion on behalf of either the Goddess or the fish.
A watercolor on foamcore entitled "Royal Snack", a not too subtle portrait of a Tudor queen eating a chocolate chip cookie. The piece was picked up at a Hyde Park auction. A second work in the same medium, entitled "The Jester", is stupefying in its geometric simplicity. "The Jester" was acquired from a yard sale in the same vicinity as the auction.
Upstairs at the theatre counter, they had books and CDROMs available. I bought the CDROM, from which the images below were gathered. The CDROM proved to be a mistake. The CDROM was all about the Museum and the people who set it up, and only included a few of the paintings. I should have bought the book which was full of the paintings and the captions. They also had postcards and miniatures and posters and coffee mugs for sale. I brought back the catalogue and there are some items I should get. Some of the paintings were so appallingly bad, that they stuck in my mind. I wouldn't mind getting posters of them. "Sunday On The Pot With George" is a favourite of mine. A large man on the toilet, strangely still wearing his underpants.
There is a Web site for MOBA. Go there and have a look. You'll be pleased that you did. Have a look through the listed online galleries, looking particularly for Sunday on the Pot with George, and Pauline Resting. Wonderful paintings.
I have included just a few of the paintings that I really enjoyed. There are many more available at the MOBA site. If your appetitite has been whetted by these paintings, then go there for the full treatment. Read the writing, see the paintings.