Wonderful Bad Art

Lately, I’ve really been enjoying the site Craftastrophe.  And not just because they came up with a fabulous name.  The site is dedicated to finding the best of the worst art/craft on the web.  My latest favorite is this:

Beethoven Elvis

Now, the art itself is cringeworthy enough.  But what really tips this piece over the edge is that the creator of the piece actually tried to pass it off as a legitimate art success.  From the original posting:

This sculpture is of a young Beethoven and was hand sculpted and hand painted by Titano Art (artists Scott O’Connor and David Kwon)
This sculpture won the 2010 Matthew Hussein Award for Innovation! It was selected from a field of 77 artists, some of whom entered more than one sculpture!
Here is what renowned art critic Adele Padgett had to say about the sculpture at the award ceremony: “These artists have used a very innovative style in this piece. They have achieved extremely accurate proportions but also used blacks where there are already natural shadows and whites where there are already natural highlights for emphasis. A dripping effect on the face also gives the viewer an accurate feeling that Beethoven was a tragic figure. The effect is truly stunning, and I believe Matthew Hussein would be very happy with this year’s winning piece if he were still alive.”
Since nobody knows for sure what Beethoven looked like when he was younger, reference pictures of an older Beethoven, Elvis, and Robert Pattinson were used.

A Google search done by the lovely folks at Craftastrophe shows that none of the people or events named (besides Beethoven, Elvis and Robert Pattinson) actually exist.  It’s all made up!  AND there are plenty of images of the young Beethoven.  But I’m sure there was only one old Elvis statue around to modify so I guess you do what you have to do.

In spite of all of this (or perhaps because of it) the sculpture sold for a whopping $5.50 (plus $34.99 in shipping).  In a strange way, these people really did make some art, just not quite in the way they intended.  They embraced the idea that the inherent value of art comes from who made it and not whether it stirs some response (positive or negative) in the viewer.  So they fabricated a history for their art in order to increase the amount that someone would be willing to pay for it. In this way, the act of selling the art almost becomes performance art, completed when someone buys the work and the story.

It’s also just really funny.



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