Name a Terrible Painting, Win Prizes


In partnership with the curators of the Museum of Bad Art, Berkeley's Ten Speed Press - publisher of the new book, The Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks - is running a contest throughout the month of May. Prizes will be awarded to whomever dreams up the best name and appropriately obnoxious interpretation for a now-nameless, anonymous painting that may or may not depict two Grim Reapers playing chess.

The Museum of Bad Art actually exists - online and in a brick-and-mortar Massachusetts basement. It comprises hundreds of paintings that were once homeless, discarded, but then fished out of trash bins or bought for a song at thrift shops and yard sales. They bear such names (mostly devised by the curators and their associates) as Drilling for Eggs, Prosthetic Claw, Retch Like an Egyptian, and Bone-Juggling Dog in a Hula Skirt.

"The principal principle for a work of art to be accepted by MOBA is that it must have been created by someone who was seriously attempting to make an artistic statement - one that has gone horribly awry in either its concept or execution," write curators Michael Frank and Louise Reilly Sacco in their introduction to the book.

Send all submissions to by May 31.—Anneli Rufus