Charles Moore

Maestro Of Artistry
Art Historian, Author, And Curator

Moore is the author of the books The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting and The Brilliance of the Color Black Through the Eyes of Art CollectorsThe Black Market has been translated into ten languages. As a curator, his work focuses on abstract expressionism, color theory, and issues related to social justice. Moore is the recipient of the Titus & Venus Award from Harvard University, the Artis curatorial residency, and numerous writing residencies.He is a contributing writer to notable publications, including Juxtapoz, CULTURED, Artsy, Brooklyn Rail, The Art Newspaper, Artnet, and Fine Art Connoisseur. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Columbia University researching the life and career of abstract painter Ed Clark.

As an accomplished marathoner, Charles has completed 24 marathons since 2016, including all six of the Abbott World Majors and an ultramarathon. He is the recipient of the 2022 Tracksmith Fellowship, which supports his forthcoming memoir on his experience running marathons all over the globe.

How did your journey with the art world begin?

My journey started when I was a kid. I’d say around ten or so. My mom started buying art, which was really to decorate our home with images she related to. I looked at these images, mostly editioned prints and photographs and a couple of paintings, for years until I started going to the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA). It’s an encyclopedia museum, and I started going before I knew what that even was or how great of a collection they had.

When I moved away for college, my experiences with the visual arts ended until I moved to NYC in 2005. I immediately got memberships to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met)—it reminded me of a giant DIA—and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I remember spending hours and hours in these museums. I eventually expanded to the Neue Galerie, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, and the Jewish Museum. I’d subsequently leave NYC for Rome, Italy, and live there in 2009 to 2012.

While in Europe, I traveled all over, popping my head into all the museums each city had to offer. When I got back to NYC, the art collecting began immediately. I eventually found my way to meeting an art advisor, who helped me learn more about collecting more purposefully.

What are a few of the current trends that are happening in the art world?

There are quite a few trends. There are cultural trends, like art by Black artists, and I’m seeing many more Asian and Latin artists having a trending moment. But like any trend, it has a shelf life. I always suggest that artists look not only at their successful contemporaries but the artists that came as far back as a generation before them to see what they did or are doing that keeps them relevant. There also is an uptick in conceptual art and abstraction. I look for that trend to continue for some time.

What are your thoughts on NFTs?

Honestly, I don’t think much about them. I’m sure some people think otherwise and successfully collect them. I own an NFT given to me at an event a couple of years ago. I was told it’s worth a lot; if anyone is looking for one, please get in touch with me.

How do you define a true artist?

I have a very particular philosophy on this. The quick answer is, a true artist cannot think of doing anything else for a living aside from creating art. Maybe they have side business ventures and endeavors, but their art practice is the engine of their soul. The true artist has to create.

What should an artist’s role be, and do you believe they are responsible for the culture?

This is a tricky question. It depends. Early in their career, their responsibility should be making the most imaginative work possible. As their career progresses, they have some responsibility for the culture. As their resources and experiences are heightened, so are their responsibilities to be meaningful. But that definition of responsibility will differ from one artist to the next. It’s hard to veer too far from their original creative base, or it can become inauthentic. It’s challenging for the artist and the culture that critiques them.