Mario Moore ART ’13 does not have to walk very far to view his
work on display: a new show of Moore’s paintings is located conveniently
at The Study hotel, right across the street from his studio in the
School of Art’s Green Hall. After receiving his BFA from the College for
Creative Studies in Detroit in 2009, Moore worked as a set sculptor
before coming to Yale to pursue graduate studies. The News spoke with Moore about his show at The Study and about the relative limits of painting versus drawing. Q To start off, what’s the subject of the show? A The subject mainly deals
with people in general — in conflict, people in conflict. I guess it
has to do with societal hierarchies — being a black man or a black woman
in America. It deals with those issues. Q Did something specific prompt this? A Well, I’m from Detroit, so I guess being from a
Midwestern city, because Michigan is majority white. So there’s a lot of
racial issues, even in a big city, but it’s not the same issues you’d
see in a southern 60s, 50s kind of place. But it’s kind of hidden. Weird
things happen. Q Has New Haven influenced that impression? A Yeah, because I feel like there’s a disconnect between the city-dwellers and Yale. There’s that tension there. Q What subjects do you keep coming back to? A I think I always come back to portraiture, because
I feel like it’s a way to connect a person with an image, [to] connect a
person with a person within an image. Q And are there specific models you come back to? A No, I don’t have specific models, but specific
ideas, dealing with hair and beauty in black women, and the power of a
black figure within a painting and what that means. Q How do you pick what gets shown? A Well, here, I had to edit down, because I had some
stuff that probably wouldn’t be too acceptable to a hotel. Like, there
was one piece with a middle finger, just a portrait of me with a middle
finger. People probably wouldn’t be too comfortable seeing that on a
hotel wall, so I just tried to find stuff that I felt would fit the
space. Q And you have another show right now, in Detroit? A Yeah, I have a show at the Charles H. Wright
Museum of African American History in Detroit. It’s a group show. That’s
not a solo show. Q Why do artists go to school? A That’s a great question. For the most part, it’s to connect with other people. It’s basically a huge network. I see it as a networking
opportunity, a way to develop your ideas because you’re learning from
people that are essentially in the business. Like in any other field, we
want to learn from the best. You gotta go talk to the best. Q I always thought of art as a solitary craft. A Well sometimes it can be, you know, the artists in
their studio, not talking to anybody, not eating any food, going hungry
— a starving weird guy. But it’s actually good to have a community in
life, to talk to people and get your ideas flowing. Q You do both etchings and paintings. How do you approach those differently? A I approach the etchings differently. I have a lot
more freedom with etching and drawing than with painting. I started
painting senior year of high school, but I’ve been drawing since I was a
little kid. I feel like the graphic space of a drawing is a lot freer
than a painting to me. I’m trying to learn a new approach. I’m trying to
feel that out in my paintings. Q How do you decide when a painting is finished? A Oh man, that’s a good question. You almost never
know. Because I can say a painting’s finished, especially in this
program, and then you get, “You got this to do. You should do that.
That’s wrong. You need to wipe that out. You need to paint this over.”
But I think it’s just when I’m trying to get my point across and I feel
like that’s what’s coming across, then I consider it done. Q After you got your BFA you worked as a set sculptor on film sets. What does that entail? A A set sculptor works in the warehouse,
essentially, with the contractors, the carpenters, the plant guys, the
set director guys, and we basically construct the set that the film’s
gonna happen on. So, I worked on the movie “Real Steel,” with Hugh
Jackman and I worked on “Red Dawn,” which is soon to come out as a
remake of the 80s [movie] Red Dawn. Basically, all we did was sculpt
rocks and trees, Every tree and rock that you see in a movie is probably
not even real, it’s probably a foam object and then they put plaster
over it and they paint it and make it look real. My boss sculpted an
entire tree just so they could shoot it up. Q Do you still sculpt? A Yeah, I’m actually working on some sculpture this year. I’m trying to get back into it.
Charles H Wright Museum
It has been sooooooo long since I have posted anything and I have been quite busy. I am very blessed to have co-curated and been a part of this great show. Please take a look at the link and also make your way to the museum if you can.
Peace and love, Mario
Great American Artists - Part III: The Seeds
September 6, 2012 - January 6, 2013
Great American Artists is an exhibition of new figurative works by artists Christopher Batten, Endia Beal, Halima Cassells, Alonzo Edwards, Sydney James, Gregory Johnson, Richard Lewis, Mario Moore, Sabrina Nelson and Senghor Reid.
Through a series of studio visits, collaborative meetings and
documentation, these artists developed a consortium with two major goals
in mind: to increase collaboration among artists in Detroit and to
strengthen the network of artists who employ similar themes in their
work. Divided into a three-part series, subtitled Roots, Branches, and Seeds, this year-long exhibition represents the generational structure of the group and the development of the artists.
Exhibiting third are Endia Beal, Sydney G. James, and Mario Moore,
who form the “Seeds” of the group. They have used inspiration derived
from The Roots and Branches to create works that address the social
issues of today. All three hope that their work will resonate on a
personal level with their viewers.
This Video is of my great mentor Richard Lewis I find his paintings very inspiring. He gives pertinence to his family and friends in his portraits. They seem to set a very still tone that confronts the viewer in an unannounced portrayal of importance. I truly enjoy searching his canvases for every mark and always find my self surprised with the way the paints sits against another brushstroke or interlocks with another color. His layers of paint create depth that is seen within the paint itself and not the image. One stroke lays on top of the other in such a complex way that it almost seems that each stroke is multiplied just by his skill. A great painter indeed.
check out the link above for the video, it would not let me embed it.
Also I have been slow to update here but there has been a lot that has happened recently. I am a second year officially now at Yale and I have a solo show coming up not to mention a group show at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. I will post all the information on these shows soon as well as some new paintings I have been working on.
That looks like someone's son to me, Etching, 12.5 x 8, 2012
Portrait, Ecthing, 6 x 6, 2011
These etchings were made during my first year at Yale. The images at the top are more recent, I enjoy etching because there is a graphic visceral quality to the material, the outcome is unknown and the process is meditative. The final result is always unexpected and many times you find that what was in your mind as the initial image has improved through the medium or changed radically.
Stranger to a Child's drawing, Oil on canvas, 84 x 72, 2011
Everlasting, Oil on linen, 48 x 48, 2012
Here is some more for you all to check out, these pieces are also from this semester. Had to work hard and I feel like I had a pretty good output. The one thing that sucks about some of the images is that the colors can never really come close to what they look like in person. The painting with Ali at the bottom of this post was one of the last paintings I finished this semester, I will put detail images of this painting and others in the next post.
Wayde,Oil on canvas stretched on panel, 6 x 7, 2012
Come Study, Oil on canvas with wooden box, 42 x 33, 2012
Stranger to a child's drawing 2, Oil on canvas, 48 x 32
So here are some new works from this past semester and I will post more after this is published. This first year has helped me to grow in my exploration and the resources at YALE are unlimited to say the least. So take a look at the work, leave a response and we can have a dialogue about the pieces in this post as well as the next.
One day in the land of Milk and Honey, Oil on canvas, 72 x 60, 2012
It has been so long since I posted anything and I apologize for that. Grad school and artistic rhetoric keep me busy. Any way this painting is titled " One day in the land of Milk and Honey", it may seem that this is in some way connected to the Trayvon Martin situation but this was created before that. Although that read of the work is an interesting conversation I hope that the painting extends beyond that to a very large and historical context. It is very upsetting though to think that a negative transformation of an object can be contextualized by the simple fact that it has come in contact with a Black body. I almost forgot I just recently received a scholarship from the national cowboy museum and I want to thank everyone who wrote a letter of recommendation for me and that I got a little dough for their efforts lol. I will post that scholarship stuff in a later post.