Shie Moreno’s early years were spent in Havana, Cuba in the throes of the Stalinist period amid the decaying splendor of a once grand city. At age eight, he endured a crowded, nightmare passage to Miami, forever known as the Mariel boatlift. He arrived in a hostile city to a foreign culture. The family quickly moved to Los Angeles and then, years later, returned to Miami.
The harsh bright light of the tropics, the intensity of color, the forced blindness of night in a crowded vessel, the elements, the sense of drifting and of place, all served to forge the sensibility of the artist. A fascination with iconography, calligraphy and the strength of titles is also evident in the artist’s work. He strives for the clarity of “morning water drawn from an undisturbed spring.”
Marrying the strength of titles and the formalism of calligraphy Shie Moreno brings dust to life in the form of pigment to canvas or other media on the surface to hand.
Moreno is not hindered by material constraints; any surface and material will do for creating expression. Paint, collage, tar, marker, wax, aerosol, keepsakes and even fire will be used to create a surface effect on canvas, wood, paper or glass. An earnest examination of color, letter forms and composition inform the work. This leads to Shie Moreno as an inventor of forms, ever expanding the techniques and range of his expression.
The artist has summoned forces and unleashed them as animating spirits, elementally free and giving freely. Shie Moreno is a living tendril connecting ancient spirituality, the fecund tropics and contemporary American art.