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Moore, Chris

Entry updated 19 February 2024. Tagged: Artist.

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(1947-    ) Prolific UK artist, known to the public primarily for his hard-edged treatment of Hard SF subjects, although in fact he produces covers in different styles for all sorts of other genres as well; he has illustrated record sleeves for artists as diverse as Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo and Pentangle. What impresses most about Moore's sf art is not just the photographic realism but the sense of scale, which is achieved largely through a mastery of perspective.

After a time at Doncaster Art School, Moore studied graphic design at Maidstone College of Art (1966-9) and then Illustration at the Royal College of Art (1969-72). From 1972 until 1980 he was one half of the design group Moore Morris Ltd. His first book cover was done in 1972 for a reprint of Lawrence Durrell's The Black Book (1938). His first sf cover commission came in 1974; it was for the UK edition of Alfred Bester's The Computer Connection (1975), published in the UK as Extro (1975).

Because of the precision of line and photorealism of his work, it was assumed by many viewers, as with Jim Burns, that he was working digitally long before he in fact started doing so. The transition came about as a result of Moore's friendship with leading digital sf artist Fred Gambino, whom he met at the 1995 Worldcon in Glasgow; even so, he resisted the move for some further years, and still tends to use the computer as an aid rather than for the entirety of an artwork. That Worldcon was the first convention at which he exhibited artwork; he promptly sold two pieces to the Frank Collection.

Moore had a brief flirtation with the movie industry when he did a small amount of conceptual art for Stanley Kubrick for the movie that would eventually, after Kubrick's death, become A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001), directed by Steven Spielberg (with conceptual art by Chris Baker).

Despite his importance in the field, Moore has been largely ignored by sf's Awards, his solitary recognition being an Asimov's Science Fiction Readers' Award in 1998 for Best Cover. He also received, in 1982, a Pink Pig Award – a sarcastic award given by the group Women in Publishing to material considered sexist – for his painting Higher Tech, depicting a sexy robot.

A collection of his work, accompanied by a long Interview with Stephen Gallagher, is Journeyman: The Art of Chris Moore (graph 2000). He and Peter Elson jointly produced the collection Parallel Lines (graph 1981), and Moore was a major contributor to Dream Makers (graph 1988), ed Martyn Dean with text by Chris Evans, and Fantasy Art of the New Millennium (graph 1999) by Dick Jude.

Chris Moore painted the cover image for the second edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), edited by John Clute and Peter Nicholls; this is now used as a logo for the current online edition. [JGr]

Christopher Norton Moore

born Rotherham, South Yorkshire: 1 June 1947



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