James Moore

James Moore

Artist, Curator

In all of my work my core interest lies in the relationship between a viewer and an image. It’s an interest that is so common it’s shared with almost every artist working today. I hope to draw the viewer into a narrative with the work, and it’s this process of looking and projecting oneself into an image-space that I’m essentially interested in.

My paintings explore our seemingly increasing detachment from the real world within a visual culture of ever increasing simulacra. The scenes that I depict are dream-like, being the product of imagination and inner-space more than any observed reality.

For me, painting has always been about fakery – about synthesising the visual world into a plastic space. It has little to do with transcribing direct observations onto canvas, but more to do with mimicking the plethora of media into a synthetic representation, that still retains the elements of human looking – but looking more inwards than outwards.

I’m interested in aggravating and manipulating my role as a painter of realistic imagery. There’s no truth to be found in my work, the 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. They act as a pointer to the plastic, simulated space that we increasingly inhabit. I often use source material that is a bad copy of the ‘real’, such as a museum diorama or computer game. I’m interested in exploiting the falseness of painting and mediated representations, and investigating a kind of melancholy that I feel when confronted with the apparently total embracement our culture has for the virtual, the simulation, the construct.

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..

Constructed landscapes and fictional spaces are my starting point for an exploration of painting as another simulacra, in amongst the endless virtual images and simulations we see every day. I work in a kind of photorealist style, but the source images I use are a collage of media and the final painting becomes a weird hybrid far removed from reality. 

The animated films are an extension of my painting practice. The different scenes are made by texture mapping small hand painted elements on paper and constructing them into a 3d scene. A rolling camera shot pans through scenes that reflect experiences and thoughts, inter-mixed with external things - memories of real places, the threat of conflict we keep hearing about everywhere on the news, strange buildings and skies. There’s a vending machine for dreams functioning as a sort of reflection on the seemingly runaway marketisation of everything. There’s a tent inside a museum diorama - it could be someone living in a museum exhibition space, or a person in an enclosed habitat in a museum from the future, an odd character who has gone on a camping trip in various shop window displays, or someone in a nuclear bunker decorated to give the impression of a mountain range. A bill-board depicting a giant eye directly references surrealism - much of the surrealists work focuses on the eye, the returning gaze, the closed eye signifying an internal world, the open eye the external world. But also this scene is referring to the models staring at us from larger than life pictures all over our cities, the viewpoint is looking in from the outside, the viewer is located in the desert of the real – as described by the philosopher Jean Baudrillard. His writing on simulation and simulacra is a primary interest for me.

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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

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