When Larry Moore was a kid his dad would open up the doors to their Cocoa Beach, Florida, home to feed the local great blue herons. Half a century or so later, Moore drove by a junkyard.
The two moments may seem entirely disjointed, but they were both important inspirations for Moore’s latest series, “Intrusion.”
The series depicts animals occupying human spaces, always in the absence of humans. According to Moore the series is “more allegorical than surreal.”
Each of the paintings is rich with narrative potential — “The Last Train,” which depicts a rhinoceros waiting for a train in a subway station; “Black Sheep,” which shows a flock moving through an abandoned factory — but the narrative isn’t always clear.
“I want them to be possible but not really plausible,” Moore said. “Like, OK, that animal could end up in that space, but it’s such a weird animal for that space.”
Moore posed a question at the top of the webpage for the series: “Who is intruding on who?”
That is the central theme of the series. Humans have carpeted the earth with unmistakably human-created stuff — buildings, streets, alleyways, junkyards. What happens when animals reclaim ancestral habitat? What will occupy our spaces when we are gone? When those spaces are flooded and submerged?
The junkyard that Moore drove by makes an appearance in perhaps the most surreal and simultaneously realistic piece in the series. In “Current Situation” jellyfish float among scrapped cars.
Other pieces are more playful in nature. In “Pollock and Diebenkorn,” a group of giant pollock (fish) swim through an art gallery filled with Moore’s impressions of famous Richard Diebenkorn paintings.
Everything and anything can provoke an idea to bubble up from Moore’s subconscious.
“It’s sort of like having your radio on, but all of the channels are coming in,” he said. “The key is to capture the right ones.”
For the past 30 years Moore has been teaching workshops with the intent to share his particular type of open-mindedness.
“It’s a system that I’ve worked out to help people at any level find their own aesthetic and their authentic voice,” Moore said.
Moore calls himself “the permission giver” after one of the central tenets of his instruction. He encourages students to free their minds from critical thought to allow unfiltered creative ideas to arise. It is only after exploring those ideas that they can begin to discern between the worthy and the tangential.
Moore wrote a book in 2017 that he intended as a manual for the creative process called “Fishing For Elephants: Insights and Exercises to Inspire Authentic Creativity.”
“Intrusion” will hang at Gallery Wild this month, and Moore will host an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. March 13. ￼