Christopher Moses Bio's

Statement, 1989

┬áBy: Christopher Moses-   

As a child, I wore a patch over one eye -- to compliment the surgery on the other eye. I made the best of it and became a pirate. I attended Easter egg hunts in Lucille Ball's back yard and went to Disneyland the week it opened in 1955. I listened to a lot of radio, which helped, I think, in developing a visual imagination and a sense of drama. As much television as possible and a voracious reading urge filled in my routes - not only of escape from a world I found increasingly ill fitting, but also towards a life which made sense to me.

       I've always seen double. I saw double then and I see double now. Every reality is a choice, a decision. At age ten, a hard thrown baseball snuck past my glove and nailed me dead center between the eyes. This caused a bright explosion, snapping my spectacles neatly in half at the bridge and driving the sharp broken ends into my flesh. Thus forever tainted was my ability to accept the information relayed through my eyes (or other senses for that matter) as a foolproof version of reality.

       At first I painted and drew for pleasure and to make the time pass more quickly. Later it was out of excitement for the images and ideas that ran through my mind - and a need to say something. The image, or part of it, comes first and then the idea or story seems to emerge.

       Earlier influences included Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Daii, Pop Art, and the lavishly illustrated 14th Century illuminated manuscripts and Bibles that I handled in my job at the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, where I worked while attending High School in California. In another direction, the colors and contrasts of traveling overland from Istanbul to Kathmandu in 1971-72 - the brilliant blue lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, the deep red coral and luminescent yellow amber in Nepal, and the Tibetian turquoise, having turned a beautiful dark opaque green from generations of handling -- forever defined these cornerstones of the colorwheel for me.

       Later Jan Vermeer and Edward Hopper caught my attention, as I became interested in depicting light. Most recently, I've been influenced by the beaded masks of Mexico's peyote eating Huichole Indians, and also by the Southern "outsider art" I've encountered in Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia.

       Early pictorial subjects include: houses, spheres, trees, and faces. Then the spheres became clouds, the houses merged with the faces and started appearing in mixed media "television" pictures, alongside black holes, omniscient eyes, and silent lips. The television (a screen area and a speaker/control panel area) as a frame and mind metaphor, is the ego structure/data base, the electronic hearth, new world shaman, and bringer of information. It is the babysitter, mesmerizer, and vampyre, as well as the modern extension of prehistoric cave paintings and heiroglyphs.

       So then; to juggle and juxtapose the ideas and images, the ancient and modern with an eye to the future, the flat with the deep, the minimal with the abandoned in hopes perhaps of setting up a confusion which could stop the mind flow. This might allow time and space for possibility -- for a new idea/action -- or for remembering. Remembering is the key. Someone has said that "the only difference between you and the Buddah is that the Buddah remembers who he is."

       I was born February 8, 1950, in Los Angeles, California. I lived there for eighteen years and then moved to Oregon for eighteen years. Since 1987, I've been living in a remote fishing village in Mexico where there are no roads or motor vehicles, no electricity -- a simpler life.

       My first love is oil painting. For the past two years; however, I have been experimenting and working mainly in pastel and mixed media. Although the methods and materials have changed some over the years and are currently in an exciting stage of flux, my image-alphabet has remained consistent with its basic simple archetypes, and it slowly expands to add new elements.

       These elements or "letters" are constantly being refined and redefined, embellished and connected to form new words and phrases, thoughts and visions, new sounds. 

Christopher Moses 1989


Acrylic and Gesso on Paper - 30 x 32
The Eyes Have It