The MOBA Zoo


Acrylic on canvas
Donated by Elizabeth and Sorn Pöckel, Copenhagen, Denmark

A remarkable fusion of ski resort and wolf puppy -- stoical in his yellow-eyed silence, frozen beneath the ice-capped peak, Dog eloquently challenges the viewer to re-examine old concepts of landscape. 

Additional Information
Excerpted from the MOBA News, issue #51: We are in the final negotiations for an important new acquisition from Copenhagen, Denmark. Elizabeth Pöckel, our generous Danish benefactor is working furiously as we go to press to convince the owners of a breathtaking piece of Danish bad art, to allow it to leave a private collection in Europe and be shared by the bad art loving masses of the world. Should Ms. Pöckel succeed in her quest, she will fly to Boston with the painting in time for "Awash With Bad Art". 

Excerpted from the MOBA News, issue #52: Wednesday evening's gala opening will feature the unveiling of an important new acquisition from Denmark -- entitled "Dog". As we go to press, the donor, Ms. Elizabeth Pöckel is flying from Copenhagen to Boston's Logan Airport with the painting safely stored in her overhead compartment. 

Dog has indeed been featured in the phenomenal "Awash With Bad Art" exhibit.


18" x 24", oil on canvas
Purchased my M. Frank at a Boston thrift store
MOBA #392

No longer able to tolerate the incessant barking, Charlie the Chipmunk used a band-aid to tape Sheba the Sheepdog's mouth shut before posing with her on the picnic table.

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

2-Terrapin pyramid

Photo of Curator-in-Chief's turtles Tiny (bottom) and Fluffy (top) 
performing their death-defying 2-terrapin pyramid.


Jack Owen
24"x18", watercolor on paper
Purchased by M. Frank at a Boston thrift store
MOBA #368

The artist is a skilled watercolorist, as is evident by his knowledgeable use of negative space to create the ghostly husky. The sparkle in the eyes of the see-through cat brings a discordant, evil glint to an otherwise soft and peaceful scene. "Who else thinks it's a good idea to eat from my bowl?"

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


Probably by Pangorda
24" x 22", Acrylic on canvas
Acquired by Tom Stankowicz from the Children's Hospital Thrift Store

A comment on issues of power as experienced by those who dwell with feline pets. Is the artist consumed with or consumed by his love for this cat? Does he identify with the personality of the startling animal? Does the similarity between these inseparable cohabitants stop short at the nose? Or is he simply trying to observe a tree-lined avenue through a cat's eyes?

Additional Information
"In the Cat's Mouth" is one of a series of five paintings presented in MOBA's Permanent Gallery as part of the "I Just Can't Stop" exhibition.

Tom Stankowicz, director of photography on MOBA's CD-ROM, had just stumbled on a set of five paintings by the same artist in a hospital thrift store. "I couldn't be sure, but I felt in my bones that this was it," said Mr. Stankowicz.

Mr. Wilson, our Esteemed Curator, was immediately alerted. Hearing the details of the find, he canceled his afternoon appointment at the local Salvation Army shop and rushed back to the MOBA offices.

Only moments after Mr. Stankowicz arrived and displayed the paintings to the stunned MOBA staff, Mr. Wilson arrived. Seeing the curator in such an agitated state, Tom tried to downplay the find -- "I can't be sure, I'm no expert."

Mr. Wilson spotted the canvases in the corner, rushed past Mr. Stankowicz, and spun the first painting around. It was a vaguely Mediterranean scene filled with misshapen human limbs and the hindquarters of an indeterminate animal all inexplicably frozen in cubes of ice. From the dazed look on Mr. Wilson's face, all assembled knew that "this was it". One after another he viewed the remaining canvases -- that same dazed look only deepened in Mr. Wilson's eyes.

He turned slowly back towards the staff and began to speak slowly and quietly, picking up steam as he went. "Not... since... last year's find... the Bright Colors / Dark Emotions collection... have I seen a body of work from a single artist with such a bold and intuitive grasp of every thing this museum stands for. Look at them, look at them," he cried. "Five unique styles and subjects -- each one united with the next into a single unified whole... and the animals, the animals..."

No one had noticed, but yes, every canvas had a household pet, or portions of one somehow worked into the piece. In the foreground or the background in the abstract or the concrete.


Adam Leveille (1996)
16"x20", oil on canvas
Purchased by M. Frank at a Boston thrift store
MOBA #260

In like a lion, out like a lamb, the glorious thrill of victory and the deathlike agony of defeat are portrayed in this homage to the annual spring classic


Mrs. Jackson
10.5"x7", Oil on board
Acquired from Salvation Army Thrift Store by Scott Wilson

Stirring in its portayal of feline angst. Is Peter hungry or contemplating his place in a hungry world? The artist has evoked both hopelessness and glee with his irrational use of negative space. 


Erin Rothgeb
18" x 24", acrylic on canvas board
Purchased by M. Frank at a Boston thrift store
MOBA #333

The artist's affection for her dog far outstrips her artistic skill. Paint is slapped on the canvas with random brushstrokes, creating matted, impossible fur. Done in such a hurry that the canine anatomy was not even considered, the artist still captures Ronan's playful sweetness. Or perhaps the pup has just lapped up all the spilled eggnog at a holiday party and is ready to attempt a clear tenor rendition of "Danny Boy."

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


18"x24", ink and watercolor on paper
Purchased by M. Frank at a Boston thrift store
MOBA #281

The ancient Egyptian Sphinx denotes wisdom and power with it's human head and lion's body. Here we see quite the opposite, as the not-so-noble feline with the skinny man's body rests his face in his hands in a classic pose indicating despair and confusion.