|Welcome to the Institute
The Institute for the Preservation of Bad Art (IPBA)
intends to celebrate dreadful art in all its forms. It takes its inspiration
from the Museum of Bad
Art (MOBA) in Boston, Massachusetts, which was the first establishment
to recognise the value of bad art and is undoubtedly the world leader
in the field. IPBA does not intend to compete with MOBA; it hopes to be
able to deepen awareness of artistic inability and enhance its profile.
IPBA began life as an online resource, with the intention of also occupying
a physical gallery. The gallery has now opened, in the cellar of a private
house in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. It follows a venerable tradition
of private folk art galleries, roadside America exhibitions and fantastic
environments, and joins other home galleries in the UK such as the Leytonstone
Centre for Contemporary Art and (at home) in Hoxton. Though not really
a public space, those with an interest in awful art are welcome to visit
by prior appointment. A Board of Trustees has been appointed to oversee
both its virtual and physical manifestations, as well as ensure the lack
of integrity of works that are displayed.
IPBA believes that truly bad art is worth being preserved. Nothing so displays
the raw nerves of human endeavour than a badly executed portrait, an ill-turned
pot or a wilfully crooked origami chicken. Ridiculed by the establishment,
displayed by a few hardy souls in living rooms across the world and available
for a song in charity shops everywhere, awful art threatens to expose
the soft white underbelly of art history. It celebrates the under-achiever,
extols Sunday painters above Constable, raises the amateur craftsman and
DIY enthusiast above the skilled practitioner. The artistic elite is endangered
by the groundswell of incapable artisans who threaten to engulf it.
Incompetent individual endeavour is more than matched by corporate artistic ineptitude.
Who can forget the crude draughtsmanship, bad translations and blatant
inaccuracy of the finest flatpack furniture assembly instructions? Who
doesn't harbour secret affection for the colourless depictions of fruit
and vegetables on mass produced kitchen tiles? Through corporate endeavour
alone, bad art has touched the lives of so many of us.
IPBA will display a permanent collection of various examples of bad art,
as well as exhibitions of works owned by the Institute and private collections.
It will also offer hyperlinks to bad art resources, with news and reviews
of sites of interest. Should you want to correspond with IPBA, please
with the subject 'IPBA'.
IPBA Khan Johnny Ostrich