F5: b. Robert Moore Credits Art With Saving His Life

01.27.23 | By
F5: b. Robert Moore Credits Art With Saving His Life

Self-taught multidisciplinary contemporary artist b. Robert Moore thinks of art as more than a career – he thanks it for saving his life. He began painting as a mental and emotion outlet to counter drug addiction and alcoholism. He shared, “As a recovering alcoholic and addict, art is my therapy and I find fulfillment in producing the work as a healthy alternative to addiction and mental health disorders (aka super powers). As long as I am representing the underrepresented narrative and narrative that exposes the most vulnerable forms of authenticity and growth, then I find this as a form of currency to me.”

For Robert, his constant pursuit of happiness is defined by fulfillment and purpose. He finds it in connecting narratives and opening doors to further connection, relation, healing, and discussion. From upcycled sculpture to abstract portrait and urban neo-expressionism, Robert defines his genre as “narrative.” The goal of his work is “to conflict and provoke thought of narrative of African and African American diaspora, as well as social and civil experiences of underrepresented people and narrative.”

brown-skinned man with black hair wearing dark-rimmed glasses and a black t-shirt as he leans on a table with his arms crossed for a portrait

b. Robert Moore

With every word, brushstroke, and connection to the work, Robert brings purpose. Sometimes, that can be considered provocative if intentional or accidental instances influence the art causing the viewer to react a certain way. Because as is the case with most humans, you can never know what influences and experiences have impacted their lives. In this way through his art, Robert tries to strip away the subjective “soft” assumptions that can lead a narrative, instead confronting it directly.

Robert’s work can be found in public and private installations throughout the world. He continues to develop the mastery of his craft without restriction of rules, style, or brand. He is constantly evolving.

Today, b. Robert Moore is joining us for Friday Five!

a man and his three children sit closely together on a sofa to have their photo taken

1. Being a Dad

I learned what true love is after becoming a dad. My kids inspire me every day, as a person and as an artist, I guess you can say that a lot of my art is a reflection of their ingenuity. I want to give them the world, but more importantly I want to give them a world where they can be who they are, where they feel comfortable being themselves and being seen. A lot of my art is inspired by them, my collection “Imagine a World; Brown Like Me” started out with me wanting to fill a void and create something for my daughter. It was my own spin to a seemingly all-white world of children’s cartoons and has become so much more since. I attribute that all to my children and the need as a parent to make them feel empowered and seen.

colorful abstract art

2. Living with Art

I was living with addiction before I learned to live with art, and let me tell you, living with art is much better. But in all seriousness, I owe art my life. It is my therapy and my escape. Living with art is living with freedom; being able to release my thoughts and feelings onto a canvas, nothing compares. My journey as an independent artist has also taught me so much about myself and entrepreneurship. Art has opened so many doors for me and literally given me a second chance at life. I feel grateful every day for having found something that I love to do and something that fulfills me so much.

flat lay of world map, sunglasses, and a passport

3. Traveling

I was born and raised in Iowa, I still live in Iowa, my whole life is here. So, I think it’s fair that traveling makes the list. Getting out and experiencing different people and cultures is exciting. Thankfully, I get to travel for work a lot, and some of my favorite moments involve meeting like-minded people and making authentic connections. I also love to take my kids on vacation and it feels good to be able to have that, to make new memories with them.

silhouette of a person riding a skateboard in a bowl

4. The Outdoors (Hiking, Basketball, Skating, Golf)

The great outdoors! You’ll hear me say the word freedom a lot – playing sports, being outside, what’s more free than that? Growing up black in a mostly white town, I could really show up and be myself on the court. There was nothing holding me back, my first taste of freedom. Having two boys, I also love to play with them and watch them play and develop skills on the court and off. Iowa is home to several great hiking trails and I spend time skating and golfing as well. Being out in the open and taking in what the world has to offer brings me joy. I can let my mind relax and focus on what is in front of me at that moment and appreciate the true beauty of nature.

five spoons full of different colored spices

5. Cooking

Cooking is an art form of its own, and I may not be a chef by any means but I love to dabble in the kitchen. Creating and connecting to my roots through food is special to me. I think cooking gives way to connecting with others too. I mostly cook for myself and for my kids when they are home, and I feel elated when they enjoy eating anything I’ve prepared. It’s really the little things that can be bigger moments and greater memories when you are with family. Cooking also allows me to tap into a different part of my creative self and express myself in a way nothing else does.


Work by b. Robert Moore:

person holding up a painting of a child with their arms raised up in the air

“We Rise” is a sustainable piece created from upcycled and sustainable materials to represent the resiliency and strength of the Black community.

portrait painting of a Black male with streaks of color being pulled upwards

“Lost: I”, a reflection piece created during a time when b. Robert Moore was faced with the uncertainty of the future, but still remained hopeful.

illustration representing Lucy from Charlie Brown as Black

“lil Peanut” from the series, “Imagine a world; brown like me,” here b. Robert Moore designs and re-imagines popular and iconic cartoon characters.

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.