James William Moore is a lens-based artist known for his use of camp and kitsch aesthetics to create surreal and thought-provoking cinematic experiences through photography, video, projection mapping, and installations. Through his work, Moore appropriates politics, American pop culture, and everyday life creating a visual language that is both humorous and deeply meaningful. Moore has always been drawn to the power of visual storytelling, as seen in his series Tilting at Windmills, Get a Clue, and Portrait of a Teller’s Fortune, as he brings his imagination to life by combining fact and fantasy.
One of Moore’s most notable series is titled Madame B’s Tarot Readings. Featuring self-portraits that have been digitally altered, he becomes an “other,” in keeping with inspiration he finds in Cindy Sherman’s photography. Despite the whimsical presentation, the series touches on serious topics of identity and how society affects how we see ourselves. By incorporating humour and playfulness into this work, Moore creates a safe space for all viewers to engage with these difficult subjects.
Moore completed his Master of Fine Art, with a concentration in photography, at San Jose State University. In addition to teaching an introduction to photography course for two years at SJSU, he also led a workshop on Adobe Photoshop to assist with the City of San Jose’s Cultural History and Postcard Public Art Project. His work has been seen in group shows, with highlights including: Clang, Clang Clang went the Trolley appearing at Rayko Galleries’ SHOWCASE (2012, San Francisco), Spin Me ‘Round at Pacific Art League’s Carnevale (2010, Palo Alto), Alone with Dino in 1650 Gallery’s Dudes, Bros, & Gentlemen (2016, Los Angeles), Dances at Windmills in JJ&A PopUP Gallery’s Unconventional Urban Ballet (2014, Palm Springs) and selected images from Madame B’s Tarot Readings appearing at FotoNostrum (2023, Barcelona). Moore’s solo show highlights include: 40 at Paragon Restaurant, Carnevale & Kimonos at Read Brown Salon (2016, Palm Springs), and Get a Clue at San Jose State University’s Black Gallery (2020). His public art participation includes: Red Obi from the Obon series in the Japantown Mural Project (2013, San Jose) and Judgement from the Madame B’s Tarot Readings series in Expo Metro’s Billboard Art Project (2023, Barcelona).