Abstract Brut Says It - On the Outside Looking In

by L. Chrystal Dmitrovic

Empress Books
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Fall/Winter 2003

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     Also known as Outsider Art, Art Brut is a category of works produced by artists who have two strikes against them. Having had little or no formal training, such artists are generally ignored by the “art world”, and their pieces are rarely displayed in world famous galleries.
      Although critics routinely ignore them, the general public has a way of sniffing out what they like, and will often pass right on by a much flouted and touted artist’s canvas with meaningful lines and deep expression (whatever that means), to hang on their wall some little rough board with an appealing image produced by a garage Gaugin.
      Kelly Moore is a self-taught artist whose acrylic works are a surprising adventure. Looking over what hangs in his cyber gallery at www.kellymoore.net/html/gallery.html, one is struck by the simplicity and emotion expressed inside the frames. Acrylic paints are often mixed with sand and the brush strokes have come alive with noticeable impasto gusto. Perhaps he often surprises himself with what he creates with colour and texture. It’s a given anyway, isn’t it, that the painter veers from an intended mental image and into a reality brought only when paint actually touches the surface. Somewhere along the arm, the idea has transposed or changed it’s mind, and metamorphosed into what it was always meant to be. That is, until someone else looks at the finished painting and perceives it from their own preconceptions.
      Take, for example, Moore’s 8" x 10" acrylic Black, Red, and White. At first glance, the lines hold interest because they curve with dimension and refuse to lay flat on the canvas. The splotches merge into definite forms. A white figure appears in the top right corner, arms held out against an unnamed horror. The thoughts are swirling and afraid and picking up colour from the soul’s fears, which are represented by a monstrous form whose gaping mouth threatens to engulf their being. The painting touches one immediately, perhaps stirring better-forgotten memories and emotions. In long-buried  saturated corners of the mind there lie primeval responses to the graphic imagery of such a painting:  terror, curiosity, repulsion, and betrayal, feelings re-awakened the moment one looks at the abstract.
      Moore hasn’t commented on his painting, leaving the viewer free to objectively interpret what his work has to say. That he has created something distinct is certain. What one deciphers from Black, Red and White is wholly a personal journey – into someone’s past, another’s present, or somebody’s future?
Resume of Exhibitions
Arsagas On Crossover
February 2004
Inspired Art Fair London England Fall 2003
Hallar Art Gallery Featured Artist in the "Living Room" July 2003
Paris France USO Artist of the Month March 2003
Eklektikos Art Gallery Washington DC April 2003
University of Arkansas Anne Kittrell Gallery Summer 2002
Hot House Art Gallery Summer 2001

Website: www.kellymoore.net/html/gallery.html

Kelly Moore with an imaginative larger work


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