Photo: James Moore in Cardiff, Wales

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 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 this investigation has formed the foundation of my work. 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. Landscape forms a huge part of my work, it is the backdrop to every piece of work I create. I paint dramatic wilderness scenes in the background of each work - mountain ranges, deserts, forests, stormy skies – they are always in my work. 

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.

Many things are involved in this work:

  • the pursuit of seductive surface,
  • the visual representation of dream-like psychological states.
  • the anomaly of painting trying to represent another medium rather than the objective thing itself
  • an attempt to create a record of the strange mix of reality and imagination that are the visual part of   the human mind and memory.
  • a meditation of the painting process as a perverse practice made ‘unnecessary’ by the mechanical eye of the camera or the computer renderer.
  • a type of floundering activity, trying to paint some fleeting remnants of a lost reality in our visually fractured age of simulation.

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

News & Events

  • Generation Loss

    16/04/2015 – 31/05/2015
    Paper Gallery, Manchester

    New paintings by Phill Hopkins and James Moore depict how we record history in Generation Loss at PAPER.

    Find out more

  • London Art Fair

    21/01/2015 – 25/01/2015 I will be showing some paintings and animation with Paper Gallery at the 2015 London Art Fair.

  • Atelierhaus Salzamt Residency

    From 1st December I'm starting a month long stay at the international residency programme, Atelierhaus Salzamt, in Linz, Austria.

  • Counter Worlds

    11/11/2014 – 28/11/2014
    Futures Gallery, Pierhead, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

    Counter Worlds is an exhibition of new paintings from Cardiff based artist James Moore. The collection of work forms a visual journey through the simulations and fictional spaces that surround us.

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  • Play!

    03/10/2014 – 31/10/2014
    Access Space, 3-7 Sidney Street, Sheffield

    An exhibition of art inspired by video games. Curated and devised by Michael Borkowsky and Sharon Mossbeck.

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  • Cities of Ash

    11/07/2014 – 13/09/2014
    g39

    Flexing the architectural imagination, the artists in Cities of Ash offer the god-like experience of model city panoramas found in civic museums or on observation decks of towering skyscrapers.

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  • Terraform

    01/11/2013 – 14/01/2014
    Mid-America Arts Alliance, Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, USA

    Video series focusing on contemporary ideas of natural & man-made landscapes, meditated through the experience of video & motion.

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  • ALTER//SHIFT//CONTROL

    14/11/2013 – 30/11/2013
    Bermondsey Project, London

    A group exhibition curated by Samuel Capps. Featuring responses on the relationships between technology, our environment & personal experience.

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