Emily J Moore
By Adam Hester | Photos By Nate
The work of Emily J Moore is multi-media in the truest sense of the word. She utilizes just about anything you can think of, from scraps of fabric to coffee stains, to turn her canvas from a flat, boring white space into an inviting and enchanting textural landscape. Colors and patterns, lines and curves all mix together as though they have known each other forever, creating layers of tangible emotion. She likens each of her pieces to "a journal entry" and it's immediately apparent why. She has an amazing sense of aesthetic and the ability to bring many different elements together to form an image that is visually exciting and very intimate at the same time, a snap-shot of a feeling very deeply felt.
Originally from Kansas City, Emily found her way to Denver as a student at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, graduating from there in the spring of 2012 with a degree in illustration. Since April of 2013 she has been the resident artist at the Love Gallery, a cozy little space at 570 Inca Street just off Santa Fe in the Art District. In November of 2013 she curated her first art show there "Origins: a Sketchbook Show", something she was very excited about doing when I sat down with her. Emily has shown her own work in galleries all over the country, most recently in San Francisco at the FIFTY24SF Gallery and in Philadelphia at the Black Vulture Gallery, as well as having what I think is an incredible portrait of Walter White showing at the "Breaking Bad"-themed show "By Any Means Necessary" at the Black Book Gallery here in Denver.
When asked about the development of her style, she tells the story of the summer of 2010, one she spent with her family while her dad fulfilled a commitment as a travelling minister. Early in her trip she got her hands on a book of works by Egon Scheile, and the book was her companion on the road trip. His influence, with its stark lines and circles, is definitely apparent in her current work. In each city they stopped in, Emily made trips to the art museums there to take in as much art as possible. There is an obvious slant towards illustration in most of her pieces, but also a deep love for painting techniques of all kinds. She told me that during her pursuit of her illustration degree at RMCAD she turned every assignment into a painting, even for her digital medium classes. Hands and eyes are very common features in her work, parts of the anatomy she feels are full of emotion and expression. Not at all afraid of experimenting, Emily will take a painting "too far" as she describes it, just to discover what too far is. She maintains a regular schedule, working on her art six to eight hours a day, four days a week (with at least a little painting every day), telling me that her pieces average 30 to 60 hours of work for each one. There is an incredible amount of discipline apparent in her canvasses, the kind that can only come from hours of honing your craft. It's impressive considering she is a very recent college graduate and her style, by her own account, only coalesced a couple of years ago. Emily cites life as an inspiration, but it's the confidence in her concept that enables her to put such a fine point on each piece, to sift through all the emotions life can throw at people and capture a pure moment.
During our meeting she was listening to "Sticky Fingers"-era Stones, "Wild Horses" and "Dead Flowers", and it felt like the right kind of sound for the pieces she was showing at Love. She told me that lately she has been listening to a lot of Lana del Rey and Regina Spector, and admitted that sometimes certain pieces have a certain soundtrack while she paints them. Lauryn Hill is her all-time favorite, listened to "almost every day" and the sonic influence makes sense. The emotional space created in her paintings is similar to that of Ms Hill, and Emily's choice of colors definitely reminds me of how "The Miseducation..." would look if it were translated from sound to pictures (in my head, anyways). Emily also confided that the movie "True Romance" was another daily vice.
Stop in and see Emily at Love Gallery, check out the space and enjoy the fine art there. If you're in the San Francisco area she will be showing in a group show at Modern Eden Gallery opening on December 14th. And please check out emilyjmoore.com to keep up with this amazing artist.
To see more of Emily's work and to see her affordable art project visit her Etsy page.