w+DC Q&A: The Sounds & Energy of Shie Moreno

The coverage of our May cover artist continues as we delve into the impassioned process and energetic realm of visual artist Shie Moreno.

From his figurative images that radiate with energy to his themes of female empowerment and musical influences, Moreno details for us everything from his first experiences with art to his process behind "transcribing images, colors, mood, sound and energy."

Describe the first piece of art you can remember creating. What was that experience like for you? 

SM: The first piece I ever remember creating I can’t quite pinpoint because I’ve been doing it since a very early age, but I remember the first official gallery work I created that sold, which was in 1993 in Miami Design District, fl. At an art exhibit held at Power Studios owned at the time by Ross Power. His mother purchased the drawing of a pair of eyes that according to her and many others, the eyes would follow them to every direction of the room. That was the catalyst of my painting career; it confirmed that I was on the right track into creating gallery cohesive work besides painting on walls, which was predominantly what I was doing at those times.

Walk us through your creation process. How did you come to form such a rich, abstract and figurative look?

SMThe creation process has been always very natural to me, it’s very simple I have visions then I execute using the proper tools, materials, and time. The rich body of work you mentioned has been a culmination of experiences, visions, studies, research, emotions, culture, truth, language of nature, cosmos, and family.


There is something transformative in the emotions that your work incites. My initial emotional reaction was similar to music. Are there other art forms or mediums that enable your creativity and inspiration? Music, film etc.? 

SM: You nailed it right in the head; music has been the supplement that feeds my paintings. I am also a musician in the world of AfroCuban music, primarily I sing, I also dance and play percussion. I’ve been dancing all of my life, I was raised in a very festive environment, my family always had a radio or instrument and some one dancing in the household at various times of the day. That was the typical lifestyle growing up in La Habana, Cuba. Later in the early 80’s shortly after arriving to America I began collecting records and started DJ’ing parties at the age of 14. Have not stopped since then.




With such a unique aesthetic, how much, if at all, has your creative technique changed from when you first started?

SMFirst of all thank you for admiring the work. My painting techniques has and always will continue to change without losing it’s rooted fundamentals, like a muscle growing with out leaving it’s position in the body. 

I’ve met with artists who need strict routine in order to create, and I’ve met with artists who thrive on spontaneity. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

SMI believe I’m on my own spectrum, I maintain a very strict ethic for production and experimentation, at the same time I allow my intuition to take the lead position in the creative process, following that lead with sensitivity and confidence I achieve almost an automatic response on any surface available at the moment resulting in an earnest examination of colors, balance, harmony, composition and chaos. Out of the chaos comes order, I never know what I am going to create or what my end result will be, although I know what I am doing being very familiar with the materials i use and the path of getting to that result. I go with the flow, like water in a river. 100% freestyle just like breathing and walking, etc. , this allows my subconscious to take complete control releasing currents of information from my past, present and future contained in the cosmos and in my surroundings, then my hands aid in the illustration of these currents transcribing images, colors, mood, letterforms, line work, emotions, sound and energy.

Is there a narrative behind your work, or is it more about its visual aspects?

SMBehind my work lies my whole life, in this realm and other realms as well, the work translates into a visual diary of my connections to the cosmos, super natural world, nature, animals, AfroCuban heritage, music and all that the Earth encompasses. Documenting experiments of creative energy, the paintings serve as confirmation of freedom and pure expression via color spectrum.




What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?

SMThe most memorable moment in my career so far has been the chance to exhibit my work alongside my brother Adonys Moreno Millan, who lives in Habana, Cuba. Whom I had not seen in over thirty years since my family and I left Cuba via Mariel boatlift. It was truly a wonderful experience, here it is my brother on my Dad’s side, he is a painter like me which I didn’t really know until a few years ago. Not to mention a professor at San Alejandro School of Arts in Habana, Cuba. Wow what a trip. It felt magical to be exhibiting together even collaborating on some of the work. 

 Have you ever, or can you see yourself working in any other mediums?

SMI love to work with different mediums, currently I am experimenting with transparencies and light adding a bit of the technology available to us. Creating proto types and undergoing research and preparation to showcase in the near future.

Best advice you ever received?

SM: Best advice I ever received was to hire an Arts & Entertainment lawyer when the time calls for it.  Know your rights. Now this is an advice I would like to give, you have a right to say no at all times if you are not feeling it and those dedicated to the task of being truthful dedicated painters, the ones who create from their heart alongside their spiritual needs and not their pockets, never think anyone is doing you a favor by observing, commenting, documenting or purchasing your work, you are actually the one doing them a favor by sharing the beauty you have created and they are lucky to be experiencing something so special, genuine and unique.


What is in store for you currently? Any key shows or projects for the next months? Anything you want to share? Can our readers help you with anything? 

SMI am busy in the studio creating a new body of work, preparing to have some prints available thru my website. Currently got paintings exhibiting in San Francisco, Miami in June, Denmark in September then gearing up for Art Basel Miami.  Also I am very happy to have collaborated with No Romance Galleries for the publication of my book titled OGBON. Yoruba word meaning wisdom, I strongly suggest the readers to support and pick up a copy at noromance.net . 46 pages featuring works I created between 1999 and 2014, highlighting my varied styles and techniques.

[via ShieMoreno & UniverseMagazine]

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