Friday, March 21, 2014

I have willed these paintings to the Museum of Bad Art

Well...actually not yet. I haven’t put these fabulous bad art paintings in my will just yet, because I haven't written my will. But when I do, I hope I’m enough of sound mind to remember that it is in a museum that these paintings belong.

If you’re wondering about the Museum of Bad Art, here’s a story that ran on CBS Sunday Morning, March 16, 2014:

The video may take a moment or two to boot up. Also, if you just get a black screen and nothing ever comes up then it was removed by CBS, not by me.

I found these earnest but awful paintings at a thrift store years ago for $1.00 each, and I practically wept with joy. To me they are beautiful in their awfulness. Bad perspective, bad drawing, bad everything. The only thing redeemable about the paintings is the foliage is done in an impasto technique, where the paint is built up, almost 3-D in its effect.

“The Pink House” (my title) is built on a hill, with a driveway that apparently goes straight where? We can’t see. Within the walls of the Pink House, also unseen by us, is a master gardener who has lavished much time on the flowerbeds. Based on the mailbox flag being up, the resident has also left a letter for the mail carrier to pick up. A happy, bucolic, spring scene: pretty flowers and blossoming trees.

“Monster Children on the Lawn” (again, my title), are playing with what look like canes, and have something resembling a ball they are probably using the canes to hit. It looks more like a pumpkin, but like “The Pink House” this picture looks very springlike, so I assume it’s a ball.

What is interesting to me is the children have no faces, as shown in this detail.
The children may not have faces, but the ball appears to have a face. More likely just random brush strokes by the painter, but this detail reminds me of Georges Mèliés’ Voyage to the Moon.

 Fantastique! Fabuleux! as our French friends might say.

I think you will agree that these paintings belong in a museum, especially the Museum of Bad Art.


Kirk said...

I'm willing to give the artist a pass as far as perspective goes. I remember once drawing a picture of my couch. It was for a humorous single-panel cartoon that I planned to submit to a magazine, so it was going to be kind of exaggerated anyway. Still, I wanted it to be as accurate as possible within that context. So I sat on a chair in front of the couch drew exactly what I saw. When I finished I realized the perspective was all screwed up. You could see both sides, the top, plus a little bit of the bottom of the couch. It made no sense! So I drew it again, first drawing the very front, then adding one point perspective, and that looked 100 times more realistic. Except it WASN'T. My original picture depicted the actual reality. I realized then that perspective is itself just an exaggerated take on reality. Though in the hands of a da Vinci, it's sure not a single panel cartoon.

None of the above means the pictures you show are good. I agree it's bad art, for reasons other than perspective. Cutesy impressionism. And who plays ball with canes?

Kirk said...

Me again. I can't re-read my original comment, but I feel like I wrote "I'm willing to give HER a pass..." You didn't state the gender of the artist. If I did write that, my apologies to women everywhere for the unwarranted stereotyping.

Postino said...

I didn't state the artist's sex because the paintings aren't signed, and I don't know if they were done by a man or woman.

As my old art teacher (circa 1969-70) told us when we were all struggling with perspective, "Perspective isn't how things really are, it's how they look."

I had trouble with perspective the whole time I was attempting to be an artist. I still have two or three books on the subject and looked at them constantly. I usually tried to just use the simplest perspective I could, while admiring M.C. Escher for being able to do perspective from about twenty different points at once.