An Unknown Threat

We don’t generally think of artistic portrayals of spaces as unsettling. The view of the ocean painted in oils at a beach house, or the field of flowers in an office lobby are meant to be soothing to the viewer.

Context and Circumstance, the latest exhibition at the Twenty-Two Gallery, presents a series of spaces that aren’t intended to be so one-dimensional in how they’re perceived. The exhibit is comprised of a series of paintings, all by artist Michael J. Moore, Jr.

“All of my works have a suggestion of the macabre or sinister,” says Moore of the works. “Be it overt figures or spaces with subtle elements meant to confound the senses and suggest possible threat, fear and suspense are always the key elements: The viewer becomes more aware of himself when confronted by an unknown threat.”

Though at first, you may view Moore’s work and perceive a serene cave; look just a few seconds longer and you might see something dark in the cave’s depths. “I try to change little in each piece to create spatial situations that are barely confounding to the viewer, so that they do not immediately dismiss what is being presented in the picture plain,” says Moore. “These elements range from bizarre light situation created from impossible light sources to subtle color shifts in the architecture or forms in the image to dislocation of objects usually recognized in different contexts.”

Context and Circumstance is on view now at the Twenty-Two Gallery through April 7.