New York-Based Emerging Artist — Painting, Sculpture, Performance

David Moreira is a New York-based artist and educator.  Moreira was born in San Jose, California in 1979 and received his BFA from San Jose State University in 2002 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006.  He was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in 2006.  Moreira has had solo shows at Columbia University in New York City; Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago; and San Jose State University in California.  His work has been exhibited nationally at Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut; and at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, North Carolina.  Other group exhibitions include shows at Rouge Space in New York; 17 Frost Gallery and Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn; Curious Matter in Jersey City; G2 in Chicago; Balls Out in Milwaukee; Heritage in San Jose; Talarian in Los Altos; and Schlumberger in Santa Clara, California.  Moreira has been featured in Manhattan Times, Green Point Gazette, City Arts – New York’s Review of Culture, and Studio Visit Magazine.


David Moreira’s paintings reflect the artist’s inner life through abstract structures and evocative imagery.  The direct, physical quality of the paintings embodies the artist’s intuitive approach, and his desire to connect his subjective reality to the world at large.

Moriera was born in 1979 in San Jose, CA.  From childhood he was interested in visual art, and encouraged by his family he attended private art classes.  Following the model of his older brother, he pursued art through middle school, and in his difficult high school years he focused on painting intensely, and in his words, found that “art was an important refuge.”

Moriera went on to study painting at San Jose State University, receiving his BFA in 2002.  For his thesis show he created three paintings on massive steel plates.  The paintings combined personal imagery with the natural rusting of the metal surface.  This work signals the influence of Joseph Beuys on Moreira, particularly the German artist’s sense that all materials are imbued with sacred properties, and that personal narrative possessed archetypal resonance.

Moreira attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with an MFA in 2006.  There he explored abstract painting, with Gaylen Gerber as a particularly important instructor.  Also significant to Moriera has been Rudolph Steiner, the German philosopher, social reformer, and founder of Anthroposophy.  The artist also relates to the work of Willem Reich, the Austrian psychoanalyst who saw the development of the ego as an armoring in reaction to trauma.  Among the painters that he sees as influences are those who, “have a way of placing the viewer, in the ‘actual’ world where you coexist with the art object”, including the Minimalist painters Robert Ryman, Agnes Martin, and Daniel Buren, and the conceptual artist On Kawara.

In 2006, Moreira began his on-going Shaped Abstracts series; paintings whose repeated brushed lines coalesce to form the composition.  The shape of the painting is roughly a square or a rectangle, with the canvas stretched over a wood support, which has been cut to match the irregular margins of the painting.  The series Labyrinths, begun in 2011, has a series of curving lines from which emerge symbolic images, reflecting the artist’s inner life.  The on-going Found Fabric series is on cloth dinner napkins, with an inner square whose structure is manipulated to partially dissolve.  The painterly process of Moreira’s work shows his faith in the possibility of direct expression and his desire to ground his inner life in the physical experience of the body.