Corey Moore

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2 thoughts on “Corey Moore

  1. Dear Corey Moore:

    My friends and I at JAC were discussing Speak Truth 2 Power and wanted to share our thoughts.

    Major corporations have an ever-tightening grip on what we see, hear, and read as truth. True, we are free to speak our minds in this country. After all, the Supreme Court overturned the notorious Sedition Act over a hundred years ago. But being heard is another thing. One can speak, but it’s quite another thing to be heard. The corporate media wall feels too thick. Its mission is to defend corporate interests. Anyone who challenges this setup is in for a tough time.

    This portrait moved us, closely connecting us with the truth-speaker, despite his intimidating ferocity. One of us remarked, “there’s beauty in his ugliness.” We certainly owe him one for showing what it means to take up a hammer and “knock the brains out of falsehood.” It’s a lonely and fearsome task, requiring a great deal of courage.

    We envisioned our own fears in speaking truth to power in the eyes of the figure, and at the same time, we see resolve and defiance. We feel the bold strokes, the bristling skull, and the open jaws of a warrior for justice. We understand the raised hammer is a symbol of whatever is necessary to “knock the brains out of falsehood.” And what have those falsehoods done? At the bottom of the image is a smoldering, dystopian city, what’s left of civilization. The truth-warrior hovers over the rubble, a sole survivor.

    The genius of the image, however, is that it moves between symbols and specifics, integrating diverse elements into a unified whole. In other words, the man represents what speaking truth to power may look like, and at the same time, he represents an individual, a complex one at that. On the outside, he’s defying falsehood; inside, his mind has opened a window to a calm landscape. In that sense, the figure has revealed a vulnerability and sensibility beyond mere agitprop.

    The bright yellow background contrasting with the figure’s dark brown skin makes the painting pop, jolts us into alertness, and pulls us into the subtropical world of Africa, India, or Southeast Asia. In those sun-bleached places, high contrast and bright colors can stand out, whereas the muted colors of the Northern hemisphere would fade to nothing.

    And how powerfully those vibrant colors speak to the Southern hemisphere’s anti-colonial uprisings against the Northern’s centuries of domination. However, the falsehoods persist about Northern superiority and Southern backwardness — myths broadcast 24/7 by the corporate media giants. Southern Hemisphere people are lazy, backward, corrupt, and easily manipulated by our political enemies — It’s up to us, the U.S., to keep these people in line.

    We’re left with a paradox. One feeling opposes the other: fear and courage. Will we side with this truth warrior or acquiesce to the media myths and falsehoods that are so prevalent? Thank you for bringing this home in such an unforgettable way.

    Best Regards,

    Snow, Sacha, and Louis

  2. My friends and I have been talking about your two Stinney portraits on the JAC website, and we will send you some of our reflections soon, I hope. Meanwhile, Sky emailed this feedback because she was at work and couldn’t join our discussion.

    WOW. Beautiful. These paintings go together. There’s such depth and vibrance in the textured layers of the paintings; it’s as if they could be in three dimensions. What extreme talent this artist has in showing the details that make the light feel real. The first has a halo, like a saint, and in the second, there’s a broken band of yellow that makes me think of a broken halo — so something has happened, something has fallen. I love the light. It is like the light on the trees in Renoir’s The Boating Party because it makes your eye see differently — even though the two painters have very different styles. Look at the folds in the garment beneath the number. And the red flowers in the first painting become a trellis in the second painting, and suddenly I realize that a trellis looks like bars. The mournful expression very much resembles the expressions of saints in some Renaissance paintings, and I feel that there is an underscored message here. You see, Jesus went to prison, too, and many saints were forced into suffering for their beliefs. There’s a parallelism, a connection, a continuum, as the second painting says, that I had not seen. These paintings do what great art does: they make me see the world around me differently. – Sky

    Best Regards, Louis

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