James Moore

James Moore

Artist, Curator

My paintings are of subjects that are usually either fake, don't really exist, or are impossible to see in the flesh, but that still have a collective reality amongst groups of people. I use painting to explore our detachment from the real world. My pictures often use source material that is a ‘bad’ copy of the real world, such as a museum diorama. I am really interested in investigating the falseness of painting and mediated representations. Constructed landscapes and fictional spaces are my starting point for an exploration of painting as a simulacra more than a representation. I work in a kind of photorealist style, but the source images I use are a collage of media, from computer games, museum dioramas and models, and the final painting becomes a weird hybrid far removed from reality. 

More recently, my work has been an investigation of real historical events and places, using photographs and drawings of actual places to manufacture montages that are then enlarged as a final painting. This work takes history to be a kind of narrative story, viewing pictorial historical scenes as a type of badly constructed dream-like space, based on a few basic facts. I piece together some kind of representation of these scenes based on montages, and the final paintings of historical events are oddly funny, sad, human..

In all my work there is an underlying surrealism and forces of entropy are at play. I seek to picture something conjured up from our cultures obsession with simulations and fiction. My paintings are like 'levels' from a non-existent game. Complexity is gained from a play on the ability and convention of figurative painting to present a coherent image, to unify disparate sources.

I explore the role and potential of painting in a digital age, using computer rendered worlds and imagery as a source, and reducing these back to a 600 year old tradition of oil painting on canvas. I believe that painting has a unique ability to claim new territory in the depiction of virtual spaces, introducing a merging of the physical hand and eye production of painted imagery into an increasingly cold visual world of digitally rendered and mechanically created images. Painting is a low-end technology in terms of its materials, but it has a limitless ability to directly connect to the viewer.

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Location Cardiff, Wales
Activities Lecturing, Residencies, Private commissions, Curating, Exhibitions programme
Artforms / type of project Animation, Digital, Painting
Tags Painting, Paint, Game, Photo, Animation, Virtual, Entropy, Landscape, Dream, Surrealism
Website http://www.jamescmoore.org