Welcome to the Museum of Bad Art
Getting rejected by this gallery just might be a good thing
WORDS BY LAUREN VELVICK | BOSTON | VISUAL ARTS
FEB 26, 2023 | ISSUE 11
"George and Jackie"
The Museum of Bad Art, as stated, celebrates the labour of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum. This is undoubtedly true in terms of collections and acquisitions, but also brings to mind the myriad environments in which we might encounter or make art outside of recognized art-world structures and institutions. As Director Louise Reilly Sacco makes clear, in this context, “bad art” is not meant as a pejorative, but rather acts as an invitation to explore what the label can mean, and the critical value in a failure of intention or execution. From local open-call exhibitions to recognized avant-garde innovations like Schwitters' Merz and an evolving definition of “Outsider Art,” the boundaries of what is or isn’t considered to be art, or what is “good” or “bad” within that frame, have always been porous and open to challenge. The Museum of Bad Art operates within this ongoing discourse simply by virtue of collecting, preserving, and displaying artwork that would not otherwise be valued in this way. It also serves a straightforward and sincere function in elevating and enabling the public to encounter work with the “look at that!” factor, enthusiastically unsanctioned by the establishment.