A Short Guide to Bad Painting

Kenny Scharf – Palm Springs Vacation – 1978

If you’ve ever heard of Bad Painting, you’re probably familiar with some of her famous folk art. Name of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

“Bad Painting”, which originated in the 70s, is a spontaneous art movement, born with a question about the old styles (conceptual art or minimalism at the time) and a provocation against the almighty good taste. However, the well-known art direction “Bad Painting” did not become known until 1978, when art historian and auctioneer Marcia Tucker presented an exhibition project of the same name at the New Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Las Tropicanas – Eduardo Carrillo – 1974

“Bad Painting” is a set of works whose craftsmanship is very “rough”, but at the same time eminently expressive. Marcia Tucker seemed to be fascinated by the ease with which the artists of the movement rejected all conformist views of art and old art styles, while some people thought that this was a set of unsuccessful and banal works, not very interesting from an aesthetic and technical point of view.

Deeply rooted in their time and age, all the notable artists of the movement except Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Kenny Scharf, Neil Jenny or Joan Brown… are inspired by street codes and their modes of expression: graffiti, stencil, advertising… Their influence is just as Latin American , as well as African American, and their imagination is based on urban and popular culture.

Kenny Scharf – Barbara Simpsons New Kitchen – 1978

This “bad painting”, condemned by representatives of artistic academism and intellectualism, has received its recognition in the past few years. Especially this direction in painting became popular in the early 2000s, when the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat received great success, some of which were sold for more than 10 million dollars. Other Bad Painting artists (Malcolm Morley, Kenny Scharf, David Salle) have sold their paintings for several tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.


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