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Interview Melchor Moore: American realistic impressionist, Western Rococo

24 January - 2022
by Alice Broeksma


The subjects the American artist Melchor Moore paints are diverse: city and landscapes, coastal scenes, wildlife, voluptuous women, living-rooms, hints of home, coming home. American art critics describe Melchor Moore’s work with ‘a compelling amalgamation of bold colours and impressionistic line’, and ‘a commentary on socioeconomic status.’ Moore paints opulent scenes, with a maid in the background tidying up, highlighting differences between the wealthy and the rest of us. His work has been named fauvism ‘because of the colours’. Now he has moved from rainy Portland, Oregon, to the Rocky Mountain region his colours are brighter. The painter sees himself as a realistic impressionist, and embraces the term ‘Western Rococo’. He is also an art dealer specialising in contemporary figurative realism and abstract realism.



How did painting start for you?


I began painting later in life, and I am self taught. After studying psychology I became a writer. But after a breakup I had a vision of an easel and canvas in the corner of my room. I bought supplies and started painting. At first I was just pushing paint around, my painting wasn’t very good, so it came across as more abstract. My figures are now getting defined. I have more control and I am able to explore. I use acrylic because it works faster. When I found painting, there was a real voice in it. Through painting, I can express the imagery in my head and communicate this to others. The message of my paintings is very social. Art for me is a craft, and something I use to communicate.



Your subjects are very diverse. How does this work for you?


I follow a character for a while as they move through different scenes. Then I leave them and paint something else. They reappear sometimes. I don’t normally paint faces, because I want the viewer to project their own image and feel a connection. As for the landscapes, I was raised in Wyoming, which is a cowboy western town, surrounded by four mountain ranges. We grew up riding horses and hunting. I later moved to Las Vegas, studied in Puerto Rico, lived in a house in the jungle and stayed several summers at my grandfather's resort in Gulfito, Costa Rica. I like painting water. But water and coastal scenes don't sell very well where I live, so I paint horses, dogs and wild animals instead.

For more information please visit the website of Melchor Moore.