When cleaning out one’s garage the first things to go tend to be trash — literally and figuratively? Trash. Garbage. Waste. Unused items. Bad art? While many would simply toss out something they considered “bad” or “poorly done,” Jen and Matt Warner-Blankenship do otherwise.
“Every house we’ve lived in, these works of (bad) art have lived in as well,” says Jen. “In all of our garages we’ve had a bad art corner.”
Their collection includes some works that were done by Matt, some by Jen and some simply found in other garages. You can see a few in the photo above. The dog is Matt’s, the sitting girl is Jen’s and the man on the moon was actually done by Matt’s grandmother.
“I’ve had (the man on the moon painting) since I was about 5 years old,” Matt says.
“We always talk about acquiring more bad art and then hanging it up like a gallery exhibit,” Jen says. “We’d invite people over to share cheap wine and talk about the pieces as if they could somehow be described as ‘good.’ ”
All joking aside, these pieces were done a long time ago and Jen and Matt are happy to have folks share in the laughter of their early art career. It’s their ability to laugh at something that is in many ways personal (the creative side of a person) while never giving the impression they want someone to disagree with them.
“We know they’re bad,” Jen says proudly. “We’re actually very selective. We aren’t impressed by any old bad art.”
It’s been a while since their last new piece of bad art but Jen and Matt will always be open to taking a look at whatever crosses their path. Ultimately, art is subjective, and even a poorly put together artwork can be the best of bad art. To be great at creating bad art is truly a (unique) skill.
“In our defense, though, all of us — including my grandmother — got better. That’s why there aren’t any new works of bad art,” Matt says.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”