Hey DreamChasers, it’s Jacey and today I
want to talk about a video Jazza posted earlier this week and the whole concept of a “bad
art museum.” By the way if you’re new to the channel,
hi! Welcome! Just a head’s up I use he/him or they/them pronouns. So let me start off by saying I’m fan of
Jazza’s work. I actually got started on Youtube by following his Youtube course on
skillshare and I found it really helpful. And in general I find his content entertaining,
educational or some combination of the two. And in no way is this v a call out or drama
but just a conversation. While I’m pretty sure Jazza would NEVER see this video—he
has literally 1000 times the audience that I do, I’m including his name because I think
if I didn’t everyone would know what I was talking about anyway… and because I really
truly think that if by some chance he did come across this video and wanted to have
this conversation and engage, he’d approach it in good faith. I also want to point that that Jazza DID address
this video in a pinned comment on the video where he talked about his intentions and that
he didn’t want to make fun of people’s efforts. More or less he says that he didn’t
really think it through and he genuinely thought it was interesting to look at this artwork
and its history. And I don’t know he really needs to respond
any further—he had a gut reaction to something, made a video, and realized that he could have
put more thought into it. But I just want to take some time to examine why this video
didn’t sit well with me and some others and give more thought to the whole concept
of a bar art museum. If you haven’t seen the video there’s a
link in the description, but basically Jazza talked about how he discovered the “Museum
of Bad Art” and spends a few minutes going through the website and giving his impressions
and poking fun at some of the work. He then chooses a piece that he does a critique
for a kind of “fixes” and the end he creates his own piece of bad art. And it might seem a little mean to make fun
of this artwork but to be fair, it is featured in something called “The Museum of Bad Art”
so it feels like it’s not just giving you permission to make fun of it, but it’s almost
begging you too. It’s all in good fun right? And I’d almost agree with that… especially
if the artists were in on the joke. But unfortunately, for the most part, that doesn’t seem to
be the case. Honestly, my first reaction when I heard about
the Museum of Bad Art like 10 years ago was similar—I was really enthusiastic about
it. I was curious to look through all of the pieces.I thought it was was going to be this
really self-aware celebration of kitsch and low-brow and tackiness and art that subverts
expectation. And… it almost is. But the major problem
with MoBA is a lot of it doesn’t seem like it was intended to be ironic or subversive
or weird. And some of it definitively is—with intentionally weird subject matter and unexpected
design choices. But a lot of it seems to be labeled “bad” by strangers because of
technical errors. And honestly, I think that’s such a shallow approach to art. I think technical
skill can bring your art to a new level, I think that’s there’s so much more to what
makes art good or bad. And I think that’s just a very narrow scope to view it in. And if you read through the descriptions of
the artwork, a majority of them seem to have been either found in the trash or purchased
from thrift stores. Many of them are anonymous and most have been donated by someone other
than the artist. Meaning, a lot of these artists probably don’t even know their work is featured
in a “Museum of Bad Art.” Oof. Suddenly what felt like it could have been a lighthearted
exercise in self deprecating humor feels… kinda like bullying. Looking through the galleries, it’s pretty
clear to me that a significant number of these pieces were never meant to be considered finished
pieces. Many of them, especially pieces from the “In the Nood” section seem to be studies.
These were likely done by students or amateurs who were painting a live model. A lot of them
are very experimental and play with style and technique. It’s even pointed out on
the site that a number of paintings are masters studies, meaning someone was practicing by
recreating a famous painting—which is a very common assignment in art classes. And I guess what really gets me about this
is I think different circumstances, I don’t think Jazza would have laughed at student
pieces. As someone with a Youtube channel and products built around teaching art and
helping beginners, I would expect Jazza to approach student art much more thoughtfully,
making sure to be encouraging and gently point out areas that need improvement. I don’t
know him, maybe he’d chuckle privately at a student’s work but I really don’t think
he’d laugh in someone’s face. And it stands to reason that some of these
weren’t student pieces, especially considering some of them were purchased in thrift stores,
but there’s still no way to really know how they ended up there, and eventually in
the museum. But in the context of seeing pieces like these in a “museum” that were labeled
“bad art” makes it easy to miss that context that a lot of these were probably made by
people who are trying to improve, who might be sensitive to that kind of criticism. Which brings me to another thing that made
me uncomfortable about the video. After going through the gallery, Jazza chose a piece to
“fix” and recreates it digitally. He sticks largely with the same style of the original
painting, but makes some changes to the anatomy and background elements and offers an explanation
of the changes he made. And honestly this part of the video is pretty much your standard
critique/paintover (if you remove the gagging sounds) but… it bugs me that it was completely
unsolicited. Generally speaking it’s poor etiquette to
do a critique or a paintover for someone that didn’t ask for one. Not that there are zero
exceptions to that—I think a paintover of old masters or commercial work done done for
educational purposes might have some merit for example. But for the most part, it’s
kind of rude to offer unsolicited feedback for a number of reasons—not the least of
which that you don’t actually know what the artist was going for or what their experience
or skill level was at when they made it. I think it’s a pretty bold to assume what
standards of beauty the artist was or wasn’t trying to adhere to. I personally don’t
ever offer feedback unless someone is asking for it. And again, I get how someone might
think a piece featured in the “Museum of Bad Art” is asking for it, but looking into
the museum further and how they collect the work, it’s really not. Not only that though… I think critiquing
art in a “bad art museum” really misses the point of what makes something like that
cool in the first place. Like I said earlier I think I would like the MoBa a LOT more it
artists were submitting their artwork themselves—because I don’t think it’s fair to label anyone
else’s work as “bad” (especially not studies and student work). But even if we
take it in good faith that the artists were all okay with their work being featured in
the gallery, I think trying to improve them on a technical level really misses the point
about what makes them special. There’s something kind of beautiful and charming about artwork
that is imperfect, especially on a technical level. As artists, we study color theory,
composition, anatomy, perspective… and we try to do things in a way that’s aesthetically
pleasing and “correct” but the art that breaks those rules can sometimes be the most
memorable. And while learning the rules before you break them makes you much more effective
at breaking them… art is supposed to be fun and a process. That’s why I guess it
just doesn’t make sense to me to in one breath get really excited about how unique
and strange all of this artwork you just discovered and then in the next try to fix it. To wrap up, ultimately thing that bummed me
out the most about Jazz’a video though was that he didn’t think about the damage that
kind of message could do to these (mostly) anonymous artists if they ever saw the video,
but the damage it could do to young impressionable artists who are just starting out and seeing
this. I saw a lot of comments on the video that
were more or less “all of these pieces are better than what I can do” and they broke
my heart. It’s so scary to put yourself out there. The thought of sharing your best
efforts with people only to get it laughed at can be devastating. That fear is a huge
deterrent for new artists. I know there’s a lot of people who scoff at that idea and
say artists need to toughen up and grow a thicker skin because critiques are the only
way to get better, but there’s a huge difference between getting useful feedback that can help
you grow and getting laughed at and pretending there’s not is disingenuous. So yeah, I guess I’m disappointed that someone
in Jazza’s position—with millions of followers, many of whom are young and impressionable
and willing to spend $100 on his branded art supplies—would use his platform to laugh
at artwork publicly without thinking more deeply about the impact that could have on
new artists. I know some of you probably feel like “it’s
not that deep” and maybe it’s not. I think there’s merit to being able to poke fun
at yourself and not take things too seriously. But I think we should all be able to make
that call for ourselves when we’re in a good place to do so—not have it decided
for us. Anyway let me know what you think in the comments.
Am I overthinking this? Was Jazza not giving it enough thought? I’m also really curious
what you guys think of the Museum of Bad Art. I think this is an interesting conversation
because there’s a lot of merit to critiquing AND celebrating art but sometimes the nuance
of those things gets lost. Btw, I thought it would be fun to make my
own “bad art” that’s more of a celebration of kitsch and tackiness. I was inspired by
“The Widow” by Frederick Dielman, which comes up when you look up kitsch on Wikipedia.
So I decided to do a painting of my dog Riley as a conductor (which is also based on this
photo). Anyway I hope you like my bad painting. Thanks for watching! Until next time, chase
your dreams!

6 thoughts on “Response to WORST ARTWORKS EVER [CC]”

  1. Who? (Don't know him)
    Probably should've taken the video down rather then pinning a comment to the top. Take it down, make a better and clearer point that isn't attacking but that's my opinion

  2. You already know my thoughts but yes, exactly! Fingers crossed this is a blip. I agree that MoBA would be way more interesting and fun if artists were submitting their own pieces to not take themselves too seriously. Fingers crossed he goes back to making positive content soon!

  3. + fair warning, I'm kind of an asshole myself.

    I like a lot of the work labeled "bad art" more than what I see of this Jazza dude so…
    Should I in turn make a video dunking on his art and correcting it?

    No, because that would just be mean spirited, right?

    What kind of work do the people behind the MOBA put out that makes them worthy of labeling the work of others good or bad? Tacky or not? Surrealist or realistic?

    …wow, it's almost like art preferences are totally subjective and they were just kind of being assholes to strangers for their own amusement.

  4. This is such a wonderfully sensitive and caring video. I so appreciate your thoughts on this subject. Proper productive critique is such a complex and refined art. . One thing I found ironic about some of the more abstract pieces is that they were reminiscent of some works I have seen selling for very high prices. It seems one of the flaws of this Museum of Bad Art is class enforcement. Often times the only thing that really determines if a work is "bad," or "good," is who created it, and what level of external success they have in the art world. Thanks for this thoughtful video! Happy to sub! Looking forward to seeing more!

  5. Well let’s see if my hand s will allow me to complete this second attempt to comment. Not being a part of the “art” world myself. I don’t feel like I’m in a place to judge what is “good” or “bad” art but you have said more than a few times that art is completely subjective. I can only say what I like or don’t life. I could never presume to know more than that. I loved this well thought out respectful well balanced response to what he himself apparently realized was a mistake. That being said, I loved your dog conductor & agree that it feels wrong to have a “bad art” museum with art that was not contributed from the artist nor with their knowledge that it’s out there somewhere. Rock On. WildOnesUnite

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