Doppleclangers – Museum of bad art’s collection of celebrity un-lookalikes.
These celebrity pictures are unlikely to leave you seeing double – as they have wound their way into the Museum of Bad Art.
Sadly for the artists their earnest attempts to capture their favourite personalities were not quite picture perfect.
But happily for the rest of us, they are now on display at the museum‘s latest collection, aptly named “Doppelhangers”.
The artwork is chosen by the museum‘s long time curator Michael Frank. He receives an average of 6 pieces a month, but only accepts one or two.
The idea for the latest collection came after he and director Louise Reilly Sacco, together with friends, realised some of the submitted pieces looked to famous people, whether they meant to or not.
Louise said: “”We do not want anything bad. We are looking for sincere efforts that we can celebrate.
“Right now the main exhibit is about works of people who resemble famous people.
“We got the idea from a painting we received which was inspired by Philippe Halsman’s ‘Jumpology’ photo of Marilyn Monroe.
“It’s a great effort, except that the feet are disproportionally huge so it makes her look tiny.
“We thought it was absolutely fantastic and knew we had to include it.
“We had received plenty of work that we thought resembled famous people, so Michael put the collection together.”
Previous popular paintings at the museum include ‘Sunday on the pot with George’ and founding piece ‘Lucy in the Field with Flowers’
Lucy said: “My favourite piece is the pointillist piece ‘Sunday on the pot with George.’
“The question that comes up every time I see it is ‘why?’
“It’s such an ordinary scene. I have no idea why you would go to so much effort for that, but that’s what makes it wonderful.
“‘Lucy in the Field with Flowers’ was found by founder Scott Wilson in somebody’s trash.
“Eventually he ended up with a good collection and when a friend moved into a new house, instead of a housewarming he held a one-night-only gallery opening.
“But over 200 people showed up, so he decided to keep it open.
“That was until a coach load of people arrived from Rhode Island to see it, and we decided we probably needed a more permanent home.”
Since its opening in 1994 the museum has gone from strength to strength. In 2015 it had an international exhibition in Taiwan, and there are discussions for a similar one in Tokyo in 2018.
It has a firm following of over 40,000 on Facebook, and a mailing list of further 30,000.
Despite having expanded to three sites and having two shipping containers donated to the museum, they are struggling to find space for their collection.
“We currently have about 700 pieces of art, and we are constantly adding to our collection.
“We have enough space to display about 100 at a time in our three locations.
“People send us artwork to add to the gallery the whole time.
“Some pieces are submitted by people who have found something at an auction or in a skip that they think we would like.
“But interestingly artists sometimes send us their own work.
“It took us a while to work out why they would do that. Who would offer up their own work to the Museum Of Bad Art?
“But then we realised that it’s a win-win situation. Either their work is displayed in a gallery, or it wasn’t so bad that it was accepted by the museum.”
Artworks that don’t make the cut are auctioned off at a ‘rejection collection’ auction and the proceeds are used to help fund the museum.
The museum is primarily located in the basement of the Somerville Theatre, in Somerville, Massachusetts. It is free to enter.