Museum of Particularly Bad Art
The Museum of Particularly Bad Art Exhibition (MOPBA) is an annual event held on Chapel Street, Melbourne, Australia celebrating poor art forms, primarily in the forms of paintings and sketches. MOPBA relies on a core group of art pieces owned by Helen Round but the public are invited to enter pieces that are their own or that have been found that are considered poor. The event primarily is a charity event that funds three charities within the Stonnington area.
The entries from the public are judged by meeting one point on the selection criteria. Selection points for entry of an art piece into MOPBA are:
- Completely devoid of technical skill (Colour, tone, perspective and shading);
- Unusual, poor or tasteless subject matters;
- Passion of the artist but is driven by an uneducated hand;
- An instinctual feeling that the art piece is poor.
The founder of MOPBA is Helen Round. In the early 1990s, Foreign Correspondent reported on the Museum of Bad Art in Dedham, United States. At this point of her life, Round was in the process of establishing a retail shop named "Fat Helen’s Bric a Brac shop", that was to specialise in the kitsch, inane and tasteless. It was also a hobby of Round's to peruse op shops, garage sales and markets. She was inspired by what she came across in these places and commenced her pursuit of collecting and preserving the mediocre. Round started collecting in 1993.
Since then, Round has collected 200 examples of original art of poor taste. Of notable fame is the original portrait of actor Scott Baio that Round located in an op shop in the suburb of Windsor in 1996.
The Exhibition awards the Itchiball Prize to the submitted art piece that is considered by the public to be the poorest. The name is a play on words and parody of the 'Archibald Prize', Australia's most important portraiture painting award.
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