We try to avoid looking at it, but it is everywhere. It pollutes our office hallways, hangs in our ex’s bedroom, and too often decorates the café walls. Bad art. We hate it, but one Boston-area group celebrates the hideous and inexplicably tacky. They call themselves the Museum of Bad Art and have three locations, one in Brookline, where you can view with humor what you thought you never wanted to see.

The painting’s descriptions are worth the trip alone, but especially go if you need to feel better about that 8th grade project your abusive art instructor did not appreciate. MOBA is your cure. The photos below are of the location at Brookline Access Television.

King Simba:

Commentary for this nature-inspired mixed media reads: “Michael Bolton meets Simba in this tenderly wrought study. Whipped cream seems to stand up in peaks on his upper lip, recalling that this King of the Jungle was once a kitten. Tiny chartreuse highlights around the deftly executed pupils remind us that he has taken his place as a superstar amongst the beasts.”


This mysterious gem was procured from a Boston thrift store. What could it possibly mean? Is it blue death or a visitor from outer space? We might never know, but the commentators at MOBA suggest a theme of youth in opposition to age with some strange Kandinsky influence.

Flip Flop, Tennis Ball, Hockey Puck, Purse, and Necklace:

The works of master artists like Van Gogh, who painted a pair of clogs, and Manet’s rendition of an asparagus bundle remind us of the exquisite beauty in everyday objects. In this anonymous work, the significance of each object is somewhat lost in the artist’s crowded placement.

Blue Face- Green Pepper:

This work presents some puzzling interpretations. One visitor felt the green pepper was actually an evil seahorse. It is an odd piece for sure, but as MOBA remarks, the shadowing “does conjure a childlike joy in its…gallop-n’-go, pony-on-a-stick nature.”

If you have bad feelings about enjoying MOBA’s collection, take heart. MOBA never chooses works by young children or street artists hoping to sell to tourists. Each piece chosen for the collection is done so under the knowledge that the creator made an attempt, but the message was lost in the conception or technique. In fairness to all involved, it is easy to imagine that even the greatest musicians, fine artists, and writers alike have their duds. Failure, a universal human experience, has a safe a space at MOBA to remind us that it is ok.

The Brookline MOBA is located at Brookline Access Television, 46 Tappan St., Top Floor. Free Admission. Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri-Sat: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sundays.

—Story and photos by Adriana Hammond