The Right Mood

Mu­sic shapes artist’s vi­sion

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BENTONVILLE - — JO­CE­LYN MURPHY JMURPHY@NWADG.COM

Us­ing smooth, long lines and curves, bold col­ors and of­ten an imag­ined back story for the forms in his work, artist Tay­lor A. Moore paints faces, fig­ures and even ab­stracts that surface in his mind while lis­ten­ing to mu­sic.

“I sur­prise my­self when I paint be­cause I’m never paint­ing some­one spe­cific,” Moore re­veals. “Lis­ten­ing to the mu­sic, that gives me the at­mos­phere to paint, which re­flects how that per­son is, be­cause it’s their story be­hind them. In see­ing it, you’ll in­stantly know if they’re happy or if they’re sad or if they’re in love or if they’re at their wit’s end, and I want to get the point across very sud­denly so then you can sit there and re­ally en­joy the at­mos­phere of the paint­ing.”

A clas­si­cally trained opera singer and jazz en­thu­si­ast, Moore grew up in a fam­ily of artists and has been ex­press­ing him­self visu­ally from a very young age. When mu­sic came into the pic­ture, Moore was able to draw from that men­tal im­agery — of be­ing on the stage, un­der heavy lights of reds and greens — and re­late that am­biance to his de­pic­tions.

“When I paint, I imag­ine these fig­ures in a jazz bar — I love the at­mos­phere of a smoky jazz bar: dark, pi­ano on stage with stage lights, one singer sit­ting on a chair singing, even to an empty room,” Moore re­flects. “In mu­sic, they call them torch songs — Bil­lie Hol­i­day and Ella Fitzger­ald did a lot of them — and they’re songs where [usu­ally] a woman will stand on a stage and give a per­for­mance and [it] isn’t to any­body spe­cific, it’s ba­si­cally like they’re singing to them­selves. So I call my paint­ings torch paint­ings be­cause it’s like a per­son singing a song in one mo­ment of time, like in a story of a play or pro­duc­tion of some­thing.”

It’s not a smoke-filled club, but DeVito’s Restau­rant in Eureka Springs will host an ex­hi­bi­tion of Moore’s work through the end of Oc­to­ber and the artist says the Euro­pean feel of not just DeVito’s but of all of Eureka Springs is a nice fit for his work.

“It’s a re­ally beau­ti­ful place and the an­tique-ness of Eureka Springs — with cob­ble­stone streets and dark color pal­ettes and amber light­ing, which I love — it’s perfect for my work, re­ally.”

COUR­TESY IM­AGE

“Catherine” by artist Tay­lor A. Moore uses his more ro­man­tic color pal­ette of reds and am­bers. Moore’s work will be on dis­play at DeVito’s Restau­rant in Eureka Springs through the end of Oc­to­ber.

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