Thursday, 22 July 2010

Ugly Art


Visitors to our home are often horrified by these 1960's prints of sad-eyed children and recall the urban legend of houses mysteriously burning down in the night if one falls off the wall.


As most people hate them the majority of my collection was found left over at the end of a jumble sale or given away free by car boot traders who've failed to sell them after months of lugging them around. You can find them on eBay but I find it much more fun to hunt them down in charity shops and jumble sales.


The majority are by Dallas Simpson, who painted from a caravan and sold her art for pennies. Most of us 1960's-born kids grew up with at least a couple of these on their bedroom wall before we replaced them with T-Rex and Slade posters.


My wall of creepy little darlings at the bottom of the stairs. I did fancy them displayed in the dining room with fairy lights strung around them to create a tacky treasure trove but Jon felt he had to draw the line somewhere.


What do you think, retro or revolting?

48 comments:

  1. I'll be brave - I hate them! Kitsch things are brilliant, kitsch things with kids on are not - they freak me out!

    Although on the topic of art, I spotted "Tina" adorning the cover of a menu in a tapas bar I went to this week and I immediately thought of you :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think they are sweet in an eerie way! They all look so sad as if they have all been abandoned somehow, bless em!
    Kandi x

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the sad-eyed kids - don't forget you're invited to take part in my interiors project "Home is where the art is.'

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ooh I'm not a fan. I would think they were following me up the stairs! hehe They do look rather good though. Like how you've displayed them.

    X x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Vix, not revolting at all - beautifully kitsch methinks and they look great on the stairwell. We had the two small ones in the 2nd pic in our house when I was growing up along with some paint by number oil paintings if I remember rightly. Top art.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Definitely retro. My mum used to have a painting of a crying boy that always made me sad, so I think I'd find it too upsetting to see one like that all the time - but I do think there's a certain charm to the art you've got!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love them, in fact the little girl holding the teddy with the puppy at her feet I'm sure was in mt bedroom when I was vvvvv small, I love them

    Lola

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well well well, I'm an art lover and these paintings are very well done. The painter has captured the emotion very deftly. Definitely tpowrads the creepy side. I probably am too scared and pessimistic about having these pictures in my home but that doesnt mean these are not good. The craftsmanship is amazing here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. in my grandpa's house he still has some of those paintings left. not sure whose creations those are, maybe my dad's even as in that house are artists. i grew up wondering about those eyes...
    i remember kevyn aucoin's books featuring christina ricci made up as a sad child

    ReplyDelete
  10. i think you should install a fantasy ride thru your house and install black fluourescents so the paintings glow. i think you need many more of these paintings. you are so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I fear I had to scroll down quickly in order not to stain my keyboard with vomit.

    They're quite lovely, darling. Lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Honestly, they're not my thing at all, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that! I think if you're going for the kitsch look it's got to be all or nothing - there's no point having one or two, you need a whole collection!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love them! I do love it, Vix, I think it's super kitschy and cool, good for you! There is a thing called the Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts, (MOBA), you would love it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I actually quite like them, they do look a little eerie but they have a charm too x

    ReplyDelete
  15. While I adore a good kitsch I'm afraid creepy trumps kitsch! I do love how you're arranged them on the wall. Thank goodness you don't collect clowns...you don't do you? For me they are the creepiest of the creepy!

    Glad you enjoyed your tour of the casa. Believe it or not I plan on following up with art of the casa, how funny, so stay tuned.

    To follow up Shari's note, I did a post on the Museum of Bad Art just follow the link

    http://thebhivebuzz.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-is-art.html

    T-Rex, really? Bang a Gong right? I used to love cruising up and down the streets with that song blaring from the radio in my dad's cool little sports car with the top down! Memories!

    xxx Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well I thought My house was full of pictures, but that´s somenthingelse, je, je
    I also sell on Ebay as a hobby and love, love charity shops, car boot sales, etc. But in Spain nowhere to be found, so we go mad whe in England.
    great blog, lots of fun!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I dont like sad kids - not on paintings, movies nor books..kids should always be smiling:-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh I love it! Bloody gorgeous art - well it makes me feel really nostalic - my nan and mum had gorgeous pieces! love love love xxx

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love them seriously! And the comments on this post are hilarious to read.

    I would reframe them all in gaudy, brightly coloured frames just to make them all the more kitsch!

    ReplyDelete
  20. My auntie had lots of them in the day. I like them but I'm not sure I'd like to sleep in a room with them. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  21. I didn't know about that urban legend, now I'm concerned about your safety! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think they have kitsch appeal. And sentimental value as, like you say, all of us (d'un certain age!) grew up with them. xx

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'd love for you to come by and visit me at www.mydeartrash.blogspot.com. Like you, I'm a trash collector and love it. Great blog.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I really like them, especially grouped together. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  25. They'd worry me. I remember all the rumours of the sitters having suffered child abuse and how they caused houses to burn down.
    But then again I have a fear of stairs at night (being an inbetween place they can be a crossing place of ghosts) and I won't look in a mirror at night without a light on in case a spirit has been trapped in it and is staring back at me.

    So, I'd give the paintings a miss, just in case LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Retrotastic!I quite like them,but probably wouldn't have them in my house!I think G would be with Jon on the drawing the line bit!(Speaking of those 2,G is horrified Jon said no to the ship shaped bar.I keep forgetting to tell you.He thinks Jon seriously needs to rethink his position!)
    Anyhow,as a grouping,those paintings look awesome!Fairy lights would set them off really well wherever they are!
    LOVE HelgaXXXXXXXX

    ReplyDelete
  27. wow! lovely pics
    your blog is great!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. I remember these and had a few myself. matter of fact I still have a couple in a closet somewhere :) They remind me of being about 5 with a butterfly beadspread from the sears & roebuck catalog. Ahh,,, great memories!

    ReplyDelete
  29. omg! i love those sad eyed children-art. i shoudn't call them 'art' but they're so funny and cute. somehow they remind me of my childhood. my granny had those pictures in her flat when i was a very young child. then i stared on those for hours.

    www.wardrobexperience.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think retro. They look a bit like those Precious Moments ceramic figures, but much cooler.
    I used to doodle a lot in jr high & high school, and everyone always asked me why my figures were sad, and these are a lot more cheerful-looking than mine drawings...so basically what I'm trying to say is that they don't look very sad to me. Just sweet in a retro way.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love them all & I think you should keep collecting them.
    I’m sure that in a 200+ years from now some sci-fi tweed clad, toffee nosed antiques expert will pore over stuff like this & go…
    ”Oh, this really is a perfect example from the Dallas Simpson kitschilicious era & there aren’t that many of these left nowadays.
    Back then people deemed them unfashionable even ugly & regrettably lots of these were mindlessly discarded.
    I value this at a gazillion earth dollars & if you have two bidders in the room really wanting this…IT COULD FLY!” ;)
    Even if they are not destined to become the antiques of tomorrow’s worlds, I still think that they are über-fandabbydosey!
    ...xXx

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hey Vix!
    I just got 3 new followers today, which is uping my spirits ;). Who knew so many people like wearing black? I am having a "clearing" of sorts, re-thinking stuff, and really digging taking photos, which i think my passion is good for the soul as well as the body. Thanks for always keeping me inspired and keeping me in the moment of joy and life. Your energy is a great healer :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. i would never thought they;re creeping at all!....but gotta say after reading that "legend"...it does give me a little chills! but i think art is how you interpret them to be..is what you find beautiful! :)
    xxjess

    ReplyDelete
  34. i wouldnt consider this ugly! i loove them! it has that old vintage feel that i like alot!

    loueladaniele.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Retro but yet revolting? They do freak me out slightly but I do love the personaly expression. I've seen enough ubiquiprints from Ikea adorning walls to last me a lifetime.

    Though really I am rather envious of any art, because our flat is rented with are stuck with dull magnolia walls. Meh to you conservative landlord!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I wouldn't say they're ugly at all!! I would be very curious to know the origin behind the art and want to learn more about the artist! They're really great displays on your wall! xoxoxoxoo

    ReplyDelete
  37. I quite like them, but I don't love them. I'm with Jon though, best not in the dining room as they are clearly not to everyones' taste. Let's just say I can see how they'd freak someone out if they were, umm, not straight.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I adore Vix ! What a fabulous collection !

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm sure they have a VIP (or VIA - very important art) space in the kitsch museum. Would I want to live with them? I think I'd feel like Jon - funny as a collection, but tough on they eye (even pretty hard on my soul, I have to admit.) Good you've got the heart to adopt these eerie children, Vix! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think they're ok.Why would you hate a thing?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Aww I think there quite cute - but then i prob would be freaked out if they were on my wall or something!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hey,

    Are you going to bugjam this weekend?

    x

    ReplyDelete
  43. These paintings are almost like marmite, love or hate. Personally anything remotely retro is completely love for me. Even though there faces are sad, I think there outfits are beautiful!

    I have recently discovered your blog; I don’t quite know how I haven’t found you before. I swear I must have been close!
    I am already truly inspired. I know it’s a bit predictable to admire other bloggers from time to time, but I seriously haven’t found anything as interesting and enchanting for quite a while.
    I always considered myself to be a bit of a bargain hunter, but I really have never seen so much wonderful thrifted stuff belonging to one person. I am amazed and fascinated! Truly.

    I didn’t want to leave one of those awful type comments saying, ‘I love your blog please be sure to check me out too’- how awful! I just wanted to let you know how inspired I am, and I am very much lucking forward to reading more from you x

    ReplyDelete
  44. I definitely think retro even though they are not my cup of tea. I am a firm believer that nothing (well okay almost nothing) in art, or fashion for that matter, is revolting - it is simply to your taste or not. x

    ReplyDelete
  45. They are cute but in a creepy kind of way! They are the kind of pictures you can almost imagine coming alive at night!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Such brilliant comments! They do say that anything that provokes a strong reaction can be called true art so there we have it, my little horrors are officially art.
    @Shari and Bonnie: The Museum of Bad Art had me in stitches. If ever there was a good reason for a trip to the States that is it. Clowns? No! That really is a taste too bad even for me.

    ReplyDelete
  47. absolutely gorgeous en-masse ... bright, clean, every day wld be a happy day to see them!

    ReplyDelete

Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx