Creating good art requires skill and imagination. People devote their entire lives to it and still fail to produce a single quality work. But there is a silver lining in every cloud — sometimes artists create such bad works, they’re actually kinda good. In their own way.
Just take a look at the Facebook group called Terrible Art in Charity Shops (TAICS).
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Its 240K members are constantly sharing pics of the stuff they find while scavenging through thrift stores, and it’s clear that one man’s trash is another’s living room decor. From funny superhero portraits to trippy landscapes, continue scrolling and check out what I mean!
#1 Not Terrible But It Made Me Laugh; Portswood, Southampton UK
Image credits: Alex Thurley-Ratcliff
A year ago, Bored Panda published a piece on Terrible Art in Charity Shops, only that time, it was a little bit more specific. Back then we focused on people “role-playing” or recreating the artworks that captured their attention. Now, we’re focusing more on a broader angle.
One of the group’s admins, Al Bigg, describes the group’s community as “a very mixed bunch, from complete amateurs like myself who join TAICS knowing very little about art to artists who pray never to see their own art included in a post, and some people who have studied art on a high level.”
“I joined because I love charity shops and thought it would be a laugh,” Bigg told Bored Panda. And I think that’s part of its charm; people can easily find their place within the group, no matter their artistic skill or expertise.
#2 Take My Money
Image credits: Al Bigg
#3 A Steal For Only £10. In Sue Ryder Hillsborough, Sheffield
Image credits: Tori Elle
#4 Psychedelic Cat Save The Children, Salisbury, South Australia
Image credits: Jamie Grgurovic
According to the admin, the admins and mods aim to keep this place an easy-going, humorous group with just a light touch of oversight to help it to evolve by itself.
“We love to have a laugh,” Bigg said. “We want members to feel part of the community and if we all learn something about art, that’s great too!”
As you can see from the pictures, you couldn’t define the genre of thrift store paintings. There’s a little bit of everything. “The most popular paintings [within the group] are often the ones we would least expect,” Bigg said. “However, naivety and nudity always do well as well as the bizarre ones that no one can really explain.”
#5 This Is Also Pretty Ruff. I Didn’t Splash Out On It… Although It Costs Only A Hound Coin… Etc Red Cross Charity Shop In Burnham On Crouch, Essex
Image credits: Mick Terry
#6 Bought From Scope Cornwall For £1. Titled Fashions For The Ocean Bed. 1930’s Print Of Diving Suits From 1500 To Variants Of The 1800’s. Cool Or Not?
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Image credits: Adam Carver
#7 Came Across This In Weldmar Hospice Are In Lyme Regis – £3.50
Image credits: Enza Lisanti
Interestingly, a University of Bamberg research team led by psychologist Claudia Muth conducted a small study and found that “the higher the subjectively perceived degree of ambiguity within an artwork, the more participants liked it, and the more interesting and affecting it was for them.”
“Artworks,” the researchers state, “are not riddles to be solved via analytic steps.” Perhaps Muth and her colleagues should look into Terrible Art in Charity Shops as well?
#8 There Is Something About It That Makes Me Keep Looking. Goodwill Sunnyvale, $9.19
Image credits: Raquel González Rojas
#9 Dun Annunna Nunna Nunna… Wimborne
Image credits: Phineus Squatski
#10 I Bought It, Anyway
Image credits: Allan Janus
Ultimately, the curators of Terrible Art in Charity Shops are its members. “We have to remind [this] every day,” Bigg said, pointing to a paragraph in the group’s ‘About’ section which explains that “Admin does not define ‘terrible’ as this is such a subjective area. As such, posts will not be removed for being good, even if they are prints by a famous artist!”
“Art is subjective, what you find inspirational and wonderful, I could find silly little stickmen in a boring, out of the perspective industrial landscape!” Bigg explained. So, one could say that Terrible Art in Charity Shops is actually a very inclusive group too.
#11 I Saw This A Few Weeks Ago And Forgot To Post. The Cow Picture In The Foreground Was What Caught My Eye For But Actually The Girl Bathing/Baptising The Puppy Is Far Worse I Think. Acorn. Jersey
Image credits: Susan Flack
#12 This Is Very Odd, A Possum Riding A Rocking Horse??? What’s Been Stranger Is That I Kind Of Like It, But Not Enough To Buy
Image credits: Lisa Timmytatts
#13 £3.45 For This Beauty, Won’t Believe It’s Painted/ Drawn But Is!!! I Left It Humbily For The People Who Believe In Hares And Rabbits Laying Eggs At Easter, Or Other Weirdo’s… Llandeilo Charity Shop UK Wales
Image credits: Karien Wolf
#14 Oxfam Totnes £15
Image credits: Celia Stroud
#15 Does Anyone Have Idea Who Painted This And Who The Subject Might Be. I’m Not Even Sure If It’s Male Or Female? Cancer Research Bristol
Image credits: John Llewellyn Brees
#16 $4.94 Garland Ave Thrift Dallas. It Can Be Yours. And It’s Big, Which Makes It Worse
Image credits: Paul Wackym
#17 Newcastle Cat And Dog Shelter In Heaton Is This A Cultural Reference? I’m Very Ancient Now So Have No Comprehension Of What This Is
Image credits: Beth Stothard
#18 Bethany, Leith Walk, Edinburgh. A Bit Strange If Not Downright Terrible. (Would *you* Put This On Your Wall?) Dunno Why My Photo’s Black-And-White
Image credits: Ian Clark
#19 I May Have Had The Same Expression As The Dog Upon Spotting This Gem. Goodwill, 6th Ave Tacoma Wa
Image credits: Shelby Lohr
#20 Did Not Buy…
Image credits: Miranda van der Sluis
#21 I Am Mildly Disturbed By The Way That Strategically-Placed Fish Is Staring Menacingly Into My Soul And Rather Concerned That The Woman Is Actually Dead And Not Just Enjoying An Afternoon Sitting On The Bottom Of The Ocean With Clown Fish Playing In Her Hair
$12.75 at Community Thrift in Rivera Beach, Florida.
Image credits: Stacy Stuntzner Fluegge
#22 This Came Home With Me A While Ago From An Op Shop In Coffs Harbour, Nsw Australia. Quite An Odd Perspective And Those Nuns Look Like They Will Creep Forward Every Time You Look Away. Feels A Bit Like A Dream Interpretation I Reckon
Image credits: Graham Jupp
#23 I Spotted This Beauty In Savers At Modbury And I Couldn’t Stop Thinking About It. My Partner Secretly Purchased It, And Gave It To Me As A Present A Few Weeks Later. It Now Sits Proudly In Our Lounge Room. Think It Was $6
Image credits: Emily Fricker
#24 Lifelong Thrift, Seattle
Image credits: Angie Jabine
#25 What Are These Owls Mad About? Unpriced, Chehalis, Wa. Thrift Store. I Left It There
Image credits: Nelson Murray
#26 Summer Vibes At Wawollie Kringloop In Utrecht (Nl) – 2.5 Euro
Image credits: Madalina Amza
#27 So Excited For My First Post That I Almost Forgot To Take The Name Of The Actual Charity Shop! Petrifying Puss – Found In Lighthouse – Buxton, Derbyshire
Image credits: Stephen Radford
#28 The Load Of Bull Can Be Yours For £3.50 In Mind Leytonstone
Image credits: Wayne Sanders
#29 Finally Found Something Worthy I Hope… In St Vincent’s Bunbury West Australia For $6… Lovely Pic Of… Red Blood Cells??
Image credits: Emma Roth
#30 Who Doesn’t Want This 4ft Monstrosity Hanging On Their Wall? Couldn’t See A Price, Havant
Image credits: Jxmie May