The Museum of Bad Art: A Nippon Marathon Perspective
Today’s feature is a little special, and somewhat controversial. Today’s piece is on art, and “bad art” in particular. Can you even call art bad? As my friend, Jonny from art-duo Hipkiss and Graney says, “No such thing as bad art”. So that leads me to question, is the term “bad art” incorrect from the outset?
If you were in Tokyo the past couple of months you may have seen the following art exhibition advertise. But what is it?
Museum of Bad Art
Based in the Boston, the Museum of Bad Art is home to over 700 pieces of art which are like no other. MOBO’s aim is to "celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum”.
The art in the collection was painted by amateur artists who have a vision, a dream, a message, but lack the skills to break it into the professional art scene. The exhibition gains a mixed reception; some may come to laugh and joke about, whereas others may come to appreciate the collection as a whole, taking the good with the bad.
The MOBO started as a humble private collection back in 1994, where antique dealer Scott Wilson showed a painting to friends which he had recovered from the trash. It was after private viewings in his home that there was a clear demand for these pieces of art to be displayed publicly. In 1995, the collection moved into the basement of a movie theatre in Dedham, Massachusetts and became what is now known as the MOBO.
The “art too bad to be ignored” now tours the world, captivating the audience in every exhibition. Most recently this was Tokyo.
Each exhibition will show 25 to 35 pieces from the collection, ranging from childhood pets, celebrity portraits, environmental issues and religion. No genre is safe at the MOBO.
Here are a few of my personal favourites:
Ermm hold on, what was that last one…? He looks familiar…
Is that you?
So what did I think? Are all of these art pieces bad? I don’t think so. Some clearly are, but not all. I can interpret the message behind some of the art, but I’m also left wondering what state the artist’s mental health was whilst creating the piece, prompting me to reflect on my own mental heath. Which is never a bad thing.
Whether you think art is good or bad, as long as it stirs up a reaction the art has served its purpose, right? I’m no art critic so I can only interpret art as what it has meant to me, but is that not a good thing?
That led me straight back into the Nippon Marathon.
The Nippon Marathon Perspective
Now here at Onion Soup Interactive we can’t help but feel inspired by this exhibition, I mean let’s face it. Nippon Marathon isn’t winning awards for its style now is it?
You may have noticed that reviews of Nippon Marathon’s graphics have been somewhat mixed, some appreciating the design for what the game is, but others failing to look beyond the imperfections. You could say that Nippon Marathon fits in with the feel of this exhibition. The developers are fully prepared to embrace Nippon Marathon’s design for what it is, “art too bad to be ignored”. Art is subjective anyway, one man’s trash is another one’s treasure, right?
So in the philosophy of the MOBO, here is a collection of Nippon Marathon’s best of the worst, incorporated with some quotes from the reviewers, both good and bad. Enjoy!
If you liked what you saw and wanted to see more from the MOBO collection, definitely keep an eye out for the exhibition touring to a gallery near you soon. You can also see more of the collection on their official website.
So that’s all for now folks.
I’ve been Wedy Jones.
Keep it Real, Keep it Nippon.