The Museum Of Bad Art staged an exhibition at Fine Wine Cellars of Boston's Spring Wine Tasting. The event provided a rare opportunity to swill free wine whilst basking in the sublime pleasures of the MOBA collection.
IT TAKES A LOT OF FINE WINE TO TRULY APPRECIATE BAD ART
Jeanne Kent presents "The Good Year" to the Esteemed Curator, above
"Pauline Resting" above the beer cooler, above
Art lovers fortifying themselves, above
DOWNTOWN BOSTON EXHIBIT SEEN BY THOUSANDS
MOBA's downtown Boston exhibition hung all summer in the Stuart Street premises of Fine Wine Cellars, adjacent to Boston's highest building, the Hancock Tower. The exhibition closed last Saturday after an immensely successful three month showing. For these past three months, the gleaming glass skyscraper across the street stood in the shadow of the MOBA's showcase exhibition.
This Boston exhibit was launched with a fanfare unparalleled in the history of this Museum. For the opening, 30 pieces from the MOBA permanent collection graced the walls of the prestigious University Club, while another 25 were on view next door at Fine Wine Cellars' Stuart Street store. To mark the occasion, the wine importers opened 115 new wines from all over the world, under the guise of their Spring Wine Tasting. Amid much appreciative swilling and spitting, four recently accepted acquisitions were unveiled before the 600 art and wine lovers in attendance.
Mr. Scott Wilson, MOBA's esteemed curator, smiled benevolently upon the artist Jeanne Kent, painter of not one but two of the pieces about to be unveiled. The assembled throng gasped as Jeanne lifted the maroon shroud to reveal her work -- "Ezekial's Vision"
(acrylic on Masonite), an apocryphal scene which incorporates hard geometric edges with the fearless use of free hand, precise repetition of wondrous winged creatures, and a distinctive palette, to depict utter confusion between heavens and earth, in a shocking and awe-inspiring work.
As the applause died away, Ms. Kent stepped forward, at the urging of Mr. Wilson to unveil her second submission. "The Good Year"
, one of Ms. Kent's early works, is an abstract appeal to the emotions through violent assault on the visual sense. This saturated work speaks of sunshine, tossing together watermelon, baubles, body parts and a blue banana in a fruit stained cocktail, which possibly references a long lost summer.
Also unveiled to resounding applause was a tiny acrylic on canvas gem, submitted by Tyler Polhemus. The crowd stood back and widened the semicircle around Mr. Wilson as he held the piece aloft, allowing all to appreciate how the artist had transcended the genre of two simple masks, one smiling, one sad, in oranges and pinks, with a small gold star in the top right corner. Marie Jackson, MOBA's Director of Aesthetic Interpretation, read aloud the following text which will accompany the piece when it is hung in MOBA's permanent gallery later this year.
Comic and Tragic
Acrylic on canvas by Avena
Donated by Tyler Polhemus
At first glance, a perky pair of teenagers is portrayed on
either cheek of a pear shaped posterior. However, the cartoon
style and choice of colors recalls the funnies of the fifties.
The weight in each young countenance is concentrated at the
bottom, subtly suggesting the toll of gravity associated with
aging. The dull gold star recedes. In this graphic depiction
of conflicted emotions, the artist recalls his long past
adolescent dreams of stardom.
Mr. Wilson then introduced the final unveiling of the day. He told the tale of stumbling on the priceless piece at an estate sale early one Saturday morning. As he held the picture aloft, Ms. Jackson read from her notes a brief description of the pleasing yet threatening little landscape.
Acrylic on Board by Unknown
Acquired By: Scott Wilson from Estate Sale
Out of a clear blue ocean they came, free from restrictive
vine, menacing, advancing, hugely orange, their numbers
unknown. A transparent little barn, crackling with salty
highlights completes the other-worldly picture, devoid of
Lleena Weinberg sets the tone of the day with her Musings on Fine
Wine And Bad Art at MOBA's Fine Wine/Bad Art Extravaganza, above
The merriment continued for another hour, when the arrival of guest celebrity Lleena, Czarina of Cyberspace, prompted Executive Director, Mr. Jerry Reilly, to take to the podium. Resplendent in lilac lace and boa, the flirtatious sexagenarian had brought a poem -- "Musings on Fine Wine And Bad Art".
The irrepressible Lleena captured the spirit of the day with a passionate reading of her poetic musings (full text in issue #40 of MOBA News
, when MOBA's filing clerk returns from summer vacation).
Ms. Llena's tour-de-force poetic performance drew tears of laughter from the multitude. Mr. Reilly took to the stage to thank the Czarina and to explain how upon hearing of the theft of MOBA's landmark painting "Eileen"
, Lleena had contacted senior members of MOBA's staff and summoned them to an audience. She graciously loaned a portrait of herself to the Museum to fill the space left by the heinous crime.
Jamaica Plain artist Ellen Colletta was similarly moved to lend a brooding portrait of a young woman whose age approximated our beloved icon, although she is from a different era. Ellen's work was first shown to the assembled crowd. "Too good" and "Not bad enough" they shouted as one. Mr. Reilly stepped in to fend off an ugly moment. He explained the sentiment behind these loans. The generosity of spirit shown by local artists had moved him to make an eloquent appeal to the Board of Directors. They bowed to his passionate ramblings and agreed to permit him to make a shrine to the missing painting. The art in the "Eileen" shrine need not be museum quality Bad Art but must fulfill one of the following criteria:
1. It must resemble the stolen painting in some significant way.
2. The name of the artist must resemble in some significant way the name Eileen.
3. The name of the subject depicted in the work must be of the Eileen school of names.
4. Any other work of art appropriate to such a shrine.
As the formal presentation wound down, the wine swilling and bad art appreciation continued while Mr. Tom Stankowicz, MOBA's Director of Imaging and Reproduction, captured the ambience of the afternoon. Hard-working Assistant to the Director, Parker McGurl, organized a fine team of volunteers to staff the MOBA table, making MOBA paraphenalia available for a small monetary outlay to the grateful public.
The MOBA staff and Board of Directors extends their grateful appreciation to Cathy Lederer of Fine Wine Cellars for partnering with MOBA in bringing this important exhibition to such a prestigious downtown Boston audience.
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