Who’s to say that a particular piece of art is “bad”? You, that’s who.
Art is best when it is able to change our state — state of mind or state of emotion. If a piece of art can make you feel joyful, energized, comforted, disgusted, curious, fearful, motivated, relaxed, inspired, satiated, or terrified, it is good art. If art makes you feel nothing or leaves you unchanged, it is bad art. But keep an open mind — because something you perceive to be bad, might be good — you just lack the knowledge, experience, and perspective to see the good in it.
This brings us to the Official Bad Art Museum of Art a.k.a. O.B.A.M.A. (no relation to P.O.T.U.S.), a small museum located in the Cafe Racer, a bar/coffee shop / small music venue, located in Seattle, Washington.
The art in the Official Bad Art Museum of Art is really more “tacky” or “kitschy” than “bad” — black velvet, glitter, cloying, bizarre, outmoded, or in poor taste. All these qualities are capable of putting a smile on someone’s face — either a grin borne of genuine adoration or a smirk born of irony. Either way, art is capable of changing a person’s state and is therefore not truly “bad”. It’s fun to call it bad art, though, so I won’t pass judgment on the name of the gallery.
Here is some of the “so bad it’s good” art to be found at O.B.A.M.A.:
A Glittering Elvis:
A Cute Pooch on Black Velvet:
An Unbelievable Jesus Made of Peeps:
A Fluffy Cat:
Anthropomorphic Poodle Lady:
The Cafe Racer itself is a comfortable, little beer, booze, and coffee bar. The people there were friendly. I enjoyed having the option to enjoy some delicious beers and strong coffee. Stop for the museum, stay for a drink and some conversation.
A wish all bars offered good coffee, in addition to booze.
I was last there in the spring of 2009.