Sharon Moody is a contemporary realist painter whose work focuses on still life and illusionism. Her current series depicts vintage comic books in a trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”) style. She arranges her subjects to focus on the excitement and anticipation of reading, capturing a moment in time as the pages turn. The subject matter celebrates mass-produced consumer products and references the Pop art roots of these works; meticulous rendering nods to Photorealism. Trompe l’oeil paintings attempt to deceive the viewer into believing that they are seeing a real three-dimensional object instead of a two-dimensional painting. For that reason, trompe l'oeil painters often depict subject matter that is playful or amusing, and it is in this vein that Moody explores objects associated with entertainment; the fragility of paper objects alludes to the passage of time.
A career-long interest in realism has most recently focused on trompe l'oeil paintings of objects from popular culture. “Popular culture, including entertainment, leisure activities, games, indulgent foods and other reflections of our pleasure-seeking society, is arguably our country’s largest export today,” she says. Her work was included in recent museum surveys of contemporary realism, such as Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Contemporary Realism Biennial and the traveling exhibition Photorealism Revisited, which was seen at the Butler Art Institute and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Her work was included in the first gallery survey exhibition of photorealism in Canada, Galerie de Bellefueill’s Beyond Realism. Louis Meisel’s latest book, Photorealism in the Digital Age (2013), included her work in the section “Promising Artists.” In New York she has exhibited at Meisel Gallery and Bernarducci Gallery. On the west coast, her work is represented by Scott Richards Fine Art in San Francisco.
Moody was born in 1951 in Miami, Florida and grew up in North Carolina, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Appalachian State University in printmaking and drawing. After college she moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked as a graphic artist while producing a series of realist drawings that were exhibited at the Washington Women’s Art Center. After relocating to New Jersey, she continued working as a publication designer and also began her first series of photorealist paintings of exuburban landscapes, winning a Fellowship in Painting from the New Jersey Council on the Arts in 1981. She exhibited paintings at Barbara Glaberson Gallery, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Blackwell Street Gallery, and the Jersey City Museum among others.
After returning with her family to the Washington, D.C. area in 1990, she earned an M.F.A. in painting at the George Washington University where she was appointed the Morris Louis Fellow. She copied masterworks at the National Gallery of Art as part of her training, which she credits as an invaluable part of her technical education. Moody has combined her studio practice with teaching for more than two decades at several schools in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., including George Washington University and Georgetown University. Through the 1990’s and 2000’s her work focused on still life painting as she created several series of works that ranged from table-top still life to trompe l’oeil compositions. She exhibited at Perry House Gallery, Fraser Gallery, Fitzgerald Fine Arts, Clark and Co., and many others in Washington, D.C.; and Arlington Art Center, McLean Art Center, Cudahy’s Gallery, and Mayer Fine Arts in Virginia. Since that time her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.