In the nood

CHIQUITA
Anonymous
48" x 24", oil on canvas
Purchased at a thrift store, Boston, MA
December 2006
MOBA #202

Oblivious to the advancing lava flow, the lovely iconic tropical spokeswoman calmly gives us an alluring wink of the eye as all hell breaks loose behind her.

I'm Chiquita banana and I've come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are fleck'd with brown and have a golden hue
Bananas taste the best and are best for you
You can put them in a salad
You can put them in a pie-aye
Any way you want to eat them
It's impossible to beat them
But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator

© lyrics by Garth Montgomery, music Ken MacKenzie, 1944 
AMAZONS AT PLAY
Samson
4ft x 5ft, oil paint on plywood
Found in their garage and donated by
the Woulfe Family of Barrington, RI
March 2013
MOBA #542

We see a surreal misandric image of giants on a bucolic outing. Three young women play with flying machines and relieve themselves, while the only male in the scene is splayed open as a humiliated vessel.
The artist took liberties with perspective, but paid meticulous attention to anatomic details such as the central figure's underboob shadows and thigh gap.

Museum curators believe this image was inspired by the controversial 1969 album cover of the English super-group Blind Faith featuring a photograph of a young girl holding a toy airplane.

Watch the MOBA Curator Talk about this painting.

Photo by Bob Seidemann
PAULINE RESTING
Anonymous
21.5" x 48", acrylic on canvas
Rescued from Boston trash by Scott Wilson
MOBA #78

The cares of the day slip away and the first flush of sleep brings color to Pauline's innocent cheek.

MOBA curators believe this painting, as well as others in the collection, may have been affected by the artists' never having actually seen a naked woman.

He may have seen the cover art featured on Steve Hackett's (of Journey) solo guitar album released in 1986.

 
This anonymous artist seems to have been inspired by the work of Amedeo Modigliani, an important Italian painter and sculptor who lived in in Paris in the early 20th Century.

Reclining Nude
Amedeo Modigliani
c.1917

Reclining Nude
Amedeo Modigliani
c.1919



From: The Museum of Bad Art: Art Too Bad to be Ignored, by Tom Stankowicz and Marie Jackson, A MOBA Publication
DISAPPOINTMENT
Anonymous
32" x 24", oil on canvas
Purchased by Kurt Beers at a farmer's market, New Castle, MD
Donated by Doug Shive
September 2006
MOBA #301

Their sunburns, and the empty champagne bottle help explain the young man's regrettable inability to stay awake on the first night of his honeymoon. His new wife gazes blankly, wondering, "Is that all there is?"

From - Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco, Ten Speed Press 

Watch the MOBA Curator Talk about this painting.

NUDE ON A GREEN COUCH
Malerba, 1999
24" x 16", acrylic on canvas
Donated by Jay Schumann
September 2011

The model, whose red hair matches the wall color almost perfectly, leans to her right in a pose designed to help the artist avoid the difficulty of portraying her hands. In doing so, she seems to have dislocated her left hip.

GILDED NUDE
Anonymous
24" x 18", oil on canvas
Donated by Ian Michelson (New Zealand)
November 2007
MOBA #344

The viewer is struck immediately by the youthful female subject's oversized arm.

The artist seems to have been inspired by the work of Edgar Degas, an influential French Impressionist who spent many working hours observing and documenting the personal hygiene of women in the bathroom.

AFTER THE BATH
Edgar Degas, 1893
GILDED NUDE

See the MOBA curator talk about this painting.

From: Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco, Ten Speed Press 

THE BETTER TO SEE YOU, MY DEAR
Anonymous
20" x 16", oil on canvas
Acquired in a barter with bARTercauce.com
November 2007
MOBA #416

Attempting to combat the pervasive sense of isolation rampant in modern society, the artist presents a bold post-cubist image that compels the viewer to make direct eye contact.

THE STARE
Anonymous
21” x 19”, acrylic on canvas
Purchased at an antique market in Brimfield, MA
and donated by Suzanne Beaton
November, 2016

This is an intriguing life study of a red haired man with very long appendages wearing nothing but a pinkie ring. The viewer is left to speculate about the cause of the massive hematoma on his left buttock.

FEMININE FECUNDITY
Anonymous
26" x 36", oil on canvas
Purchased in Havana, Cuba
November 2011
MOBA #539

Damp tropical heat radiates from this surreal depiction of shapely female fertility. Among the interesting details are the vine emanating from the navel of the figure on the right, and the north/south/east/west divergence of her friend's bosom.

SUNDAY ON THE POT WITH GEORGE
John Gedraitis
37" x 22", acrylic on canvas
Donated by Jim Schulman

Can the swirling steam melt away the huge weight of George's corporate responsibilities?

A fine example of labor intensive pointlessism, this painting is curious for the artist's meticulous attention to fine detail such as the stitching around the edge of the towel, in contrast to the almost careless disregard for the subject's feet.


From: The Museum of Bad Art: Art Too Bad to be Ignored, by Tom Stankowicz and Marie Jackson, a MOBA Publication

THE ITCH
Anonymous
28" x 22", oil on canvas
Donated by Paul Abercrombie
MAY 2017
MOBA #440

A lovely young woman with thick raven-black hair is portrayed simultaneously scratching her right side with her left hand and the back of her neck with her right. She appears to be "double-jointed." Her blissful smile possibly indicates temporary relief from a tortuous case of scabies. 

JAMES THE MALE MODEL
Anonymous
20"X16", oil on canvas
purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
July 2007
MOBA #423

Humiliated by being asked to pose wearing nothing but a Davy Crockett hat, James reflected upon the fact that his modeling career was dwindling and made a silent vow to stop eating sweets and to renew his membership at the gym.

WOMAN RIDING CRUSTACEAN
Anonymous
12" x 16", oil on canvas
Found in Greenwich Village in the 1980s by Josh Einhorn
Donated by Linda L. Carruba
May 2008
MOBA #448

Possibly inspired by Debra Winger riding a mechanical bull in Urban Cowboy (1980), this image of what appears to be a blow-up doll mounted atop a giant lobster looks unfinished. It may be a study for a larger, hopefully more erotically realized, work.

LADY WITH BIG PANTS
Anonymous
4ft x 5.5ft, oil on canvas
MOBA #422

Reclining on a daybed in a pose reminiscent of Goya's "Nude Maja" , the faceless Reubenesque model proudly displays her very large, and perfectly aligned, feet.

LIFE ON A BARSTOOL
Anonymous
60" x 36", oil on canvas
Purchased at a yard sale in Boston, MA
July, 1998
MOBA #222

A pretty face or skinny figure, which is more attractive? Are looks everything? The artist peels away layers to find what's inside is actually not more important. Through teeth clenched around a black rose, she spits her response, "Set 'em up Joe." 

LONG ARM OF THE LAW
Farleigh Goss
2' x 4' , Oil on canvas
Purchased at a Boston thrift store in Boston, MA
October 2005
MOBA #490

Bare-breasted blind Lady Justice is portrayed here in a variation on a traditional subject. Rather than cover her face with a blindfold, the artist depicted her with no eyes. While she is often seen holding the scales of justice, a sword, and/or a book, she is in this painting juggling a ball of dreaded kryptonite in her ample hand at the end of the long arm of the law.

From: Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco

MRS. SPOCK
K. Madden
18" x 9", oil on canvas
MOBA #302

A young woman boldly turns to gaze at the viewer. She holds a flower of precisely the same color as her piercing blue eyes.

NOW AND THEN
Anonymous
38" x 38", acrylic on canvas

Using a double-exposure technique, the artist explores the impact of a rigid world on the female body and spirit over time. The use of a single strong color for walls, chair, nails, and lips comments on the here and now. Yet the past is omnipresent. The outline of a hidden door to the left of the yellow vertical beam bleeds through, and on the subject's face, the smile of former times lingers on paler lips.

OLE OLE, OLE OLE
Pam
20" x 16", acrylic on canvas
Purchased in a thrift store in Boston, MA
September 2008
MOBA #453

After 4 days and 3 nights all inclusive partying on the beach, Betty could not imagine flying home and going back to the office.

SAD TEENAGER
Vlademar Cher, Sweden (2005)
9" x 12", pastel crayon and acrylic pain
Donated by the artist
MOBA #438

A young woman is portrayed lying on her stomach with her hands on her chin and her legs kicking in the air in this portrait of "teenage ennui". She seems to have no joie de vivre. She also has no pants.

Working many years later with totally different media and probably on a different continent, Cher may have employed the same model as the anonymous artist who painted Sad Baby (MOBA #259) 

SAD BABY
Anonymous
20"x16", oil on canvas
SELF PORTRAIT
Fred Stein
5' x 3', Oil on Canvas
Donated by the artist
MOBA #332

In this life sized self-portrait, the artist portrays himself as an immodest street performer in the City by the Bay.
His canine facial features make this painting reminiscent of Mari Newman's "Bone Juggling Dog In a Hula Skirt" (MOBA #214). 

SILICONE CLOUDS
Anonymous
36"x36", oil on canvas
Anonymous donation
August, 2007
MOBA #419

Perky Reubenesque clouds float in a cerulean sky.

From: Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco

THE CONTORTIONIST
A. LivLaing Bradford
14" x 18", acrylic on canvas
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
June 2008
MOBA #455

Looking somewhat uncomfortable, the lithe female subject is confined to the shape of the canvas in this revealing portrait.Looking somewhat uncomfortable, the lithe female subject is confined to the shape of the canvas in this revealing portrait. 

THE CUPBOARD WAS BARE
Pangorda
30" x 24", mixed media
MOBA #145

In this complex narrative, the artist addresses how we perceive and the fear of how we are perceived. The faceless female form hesitates. Terror grips the little dog. His left paw pushes, as if to say "you go first." The largest figure lurks behind, holding his pet, but not his mate. The choice of spectacles is confirmation that the artist is conflicted at the prospect of emerging. Yet when the hinged door is opened, we find he has nothing to hide.

From: The Museum of Bad Art: Art Too Bad to be Ignored, by Tom Stankowicz and Marie Jackson, A MOBA Publication 

HALF POLYNESIAN, HALF NORWEGIAN
Roger Hanson (2003)
36" x 10", acrylic on canvas
Donated by the artist
MOBA #197

Her bright blond hair, the posy offered in clasped hands, and her simple smile suggest sweetness and youth. But her brown body with round hips, broad shoulders, and forearms that seem ready to push the frame aside belong to a strong woman. She is a natural blond. 

THE LAST DANCE
Artist Unknown
(possibly posthumous work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec)
60" x 60", oil on canvas
Anonymous donation
May 2008
MOBA #449

This may be a late (posthumous) work of iconoclastic French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The painting features his trademark subject of the Moulin Rouge dancer in her feathered head-piece and colorful dress. With a stylized Montmartre and the white domed Basilica of Sacre Coeur in the background surrounded by the lights of the rich music hall scene, the artist captures that agonizing moment when an aging can-can dancer removes her dance shoes for the last time. In her turned head and sorrowful expression the artist depicts the inner pain and deep sense of loss that the subject feels in this final act as a dancer. The green tint of her skin symbolizes the envy she feels for the young girl she imagines taking her place on stage.
"The Last Dance" is not only a candid glimpse into the sadness at the end of the dancer's time in the spotlight but a personal admission to the end of this unique artist's own career. He paints not in his trademark poster style, but borrows heavily from his contemporary and yet unknown Vincent van Gogh with heavy unblended brush strokes and from the younger Wassily Kandinsky with swirling color that foreshadows the new modern abstract movement that will follow Lautrec's death. On his deathbed he is rumored to have spoken these immortal words, "La vie est trop courte" ("life is too short") as statement on his death and a personal joke about his stature.

Guest Interpretator: Bob Sepulveda 

WINGED PIXIE
Otto
24" x 8", acrylic on canvas
Donated by Sarah Derven
MOBA #229

Holy Gossamer Wings, Batman, what have we here! A diminutive dancing body, taut with energy, frantic in its attempts to flee an over active mind. The facial expression recalls a deer caught in the headlights. The limbs stretched to twig-like hands, ready to snap. The artist captures the tension of frantic activity coupled with indecision in this portrait of the incredible shrinking woman. 

WOMAN ON A BLANKET
Jenia Molnar, 1985
16” x 20”, oil on canvas
Donated by the artist
June 2014

The artist asked her model to lie on the floor next to a waste paper basket. The painting is not a typical life study, but rather suggestive of a crime scene photo.

NUDE WITH FOLDING CHAIR
Anonymous
20"x16", acrylic on canvas board
Recovered from trash in Rumford, RI
and donated by Rose Shaw
May 2009

The subject of this life study is depicted listing slightly to port; shrinking away from his purple shadow that looms menacingly. His pain must be physical as well as psychic, as one of the legs of the chair on which he leans (which are portrayed in an impossible Escher-esque “flip”) sits squarely on his left foot.

COFFEE BREAK (WOMAN WITH MUFFIN)
William Niewiarowski, February 1978
30" x 14", oil on canvas
Purchased at the Brimfield, MA Antique Fair
May 2010

Looking totally relaxed as she strikes a classic pose, a woman with neatly trimmed hair wears only high heel slides that accentuate her slender ankles.

Her nudity distracts most viewers from noticing her unusual right hand, with which she gracefully holds a cup of steaming java.

WOMAN WITH WASHBOARD ABS
William Niewiarowski (May 1975)
20"x16", oil on canvas
Purchased at the Brimfield, MA Antique Fair
May, 2010

It is unclear whether the petite life-model's well defined abdominal muscles were the result of her commitment to good nutrition and vigorous exercise or the artist's wish to portray her in a most favorable light.

THE SUNBURN
Anonymous
28” x 24”, acrylic on canvas
Purchased at a thrift shop in Boston, MA
October, 2016

A young woman realizes she has made a terrible mistake as she wakes from an ill-advised nap on her first day in the tropics.

LONELINESS IN A BLUE LAGOON
Amal Haidan, 1977
70cm x 50cm, acrylic on canvas
Rescued from curbside trash in Ottawa, Canada
and donated by Guillaume Poirer
April 2009

Her loneliness is the least of this young woman's problems. Her visit to the Blue Lagoon has resulted in what promises to be a painful sunburn!

FREEDOM BEACH
Anonymous
16" x 20", oil on canvas
Purchased at a thrift store in Boston, MA
March 2007
MOBA #384

This hastily executed impressionist painting effectively reminds us that, even if only optional, clothing is advisable when practicing yoga on a tropical beach to avoid hatha sunburn. 

QUEEN OF HEARTS
Jack Hudson, 2006
36" x 24", acrylic on masonite
Donated by the artist
December 2010
MOBA #467

Wearing uncomfortable high heel pumps and an ill-fitting sheer body suit, the plus size woman struggles to fit into her allotted space in this painting. The artist may have intended to challenge society's definition of feminine beauty, or simply run out of room.

GINA'S DEMONS
Gina
20" x 28", oil on canvas
Purchased at a flea market near Northampton, MA and
donated by M. J. Maccardini  & Erin Howe
May 2006
MOBA #262

Frightening non-kosher demons haunt this blonde, blue-eyed beauty in a see-through blouse. Her world is cracking apart at the edges, but her careful hairdo and makeup show us that she knows it’s important to keep up appearances.

From: Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks, by Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco

HEAD FROM HELL (NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN)
Tina Thomas
created in Austin, Texas (~1986-90)
Acrylic on canvas
Donated by Susan Grant

A blood curdling scream from the fires below. A lost soul cries out in agony, eyes upward, forever to be taunted by the reclining though erect satyr, a spitting image of the Barberini Faun, who is just out of reach. This brilliant reworking of one of Art's oldest subjects -- recasting the cloven hoofed, horned one into a youthful virile stud is a refreshingly original treatment of an age-old theme. 

A Day at the Clothing Optional Beach