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Mario Moore: Voice and Vibe in Gorgeous Realism

Thought-Provoking and Meaningful Work

American painter Mario Moore creates striking and powerful portraits on canvas and copper, focusing on the lives of people of color. These gorgeous snippets of realism fuse with political commentary and suggestion, and although still and silent, seem loud with the voice of its characters. Contemporary symbolism is represented through the fascinating use of object, space, and expression; some subjects appear fragmented and rage with expressionism, whilst others hold the simple beauty of a moment of intimacy or thought captured in the image. An undeniable theme of fighting and prevailing through difficulty is present in these fascinating pieces.

"To Amani Minter" by Mario Moore, oil on copper, 2018

Art has always been present in Moore’s life; “My mother is an artist so I grew up around it. I loved to see her make things. Creating an entire world on a blank piece of paper or canvas, it really amazed me.” He began to draw from the age of 4 and has never put the pencil down since. Moore fondly recalls being given an art book by an elementary school art teacher in Detroit; “it had tons of images of paintings and artists I did not know before then, but the important thing was that the book was mine.” He always aspired to be an artist because of his mother’s creative roots. Focusing on the people around him and his connected values is what drives the artist’s work.

"A Student's Dream" by Mario Moore, oil on canvas, 2017

Focusing upon the things that he comes across and sees every day inspires Moore’s suggestive work. Using a combination of real-life models, photo references, and conceptual sketches are some of the many ways Moore begins the creative process. Oil paint, silverpoint, copper plates, and clay are all responsible for his unique approach to his gutsy realism paintings.

"Red, Black and Green Armor" by Mario Moore, oil on canvas, 2017

Mario hopes to create pieces that “give a viewer goosebumps as some music does – I may want the feel of the blues or Donny Hathaway or Kendrick Lamar, but always something that the viewer feels deep inside.” Remaining rooted in culture, emotion, and authentic vibes, Mario Moore uses his soulful attitude to communicate raw emotion in his gorgeously symbolic, revolutionary, and gumption-rich visuals.

All images copyright of Mario Moore

You can view more work by Mario on his Instagram and website.

Article written by Kate Smith

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