Sharon Moody


Sharon Moody (born 1951) is a Photorealist artist who is well-known for her paintings of comic books. Her works both delight and trick the eye. Moody’s attention to detail creates the impression that the compositions are three dimensional. These playful hyperrealistic paintings draw in the viewer and encourage the exploration the deeper meaning of her beautiful and precise paintings.

“This new group of paintings is a continuation of my interests in American popular culture, the history of art, and that most mimetic of painting techniques, trompe l’oeil.

The genre of still life painting has often been chosen by artists who are more interested in pursuing formal problems in art than in self-expression. Trompe l’oeil, which is a specialized corner of still life, is peopled by a group of self-selected artists to whom the practice appeals.  They collect an assortment of items that are fairly flat and depict them at life size, rendered meticulously, and have a logical reason (usually) for being shown hanging on a wall. Paper items were often chosen for these compositions; nineteenth century trompe l’oeil painters might include letters, currency, etchings, drawings, or stamps, for example. This long-established convention of featuring objects made of paper is one I have embraced.

The comic book is universally acknowledged as a particularly American art form that delivers action, adventure, romance and humor. The characters are globally recognized as American in spirit; they are now part of an entertainment industry that may be our largest export today. They are also widely known to have played a role in the development of the American Pop art movement. For my paintings I have selected vintage books that are artifacts of our material culture. I focus on the height of the story’s action, and arrange them as they appear while they are being read. The artifice involved in painting them as three-dimensional objects raises questions about perception and also issues of originality and authorship. I have identified the volume and issue numbers in my titles, to honor those who wrote and illustrated the books.

Some of the books depicted in this group of works have been of particular interest to me for their historical importance. One book is of significance as the first appearance of the character of Superman in 1938. Three feature Wonder Woman comic books that show the progress, in fits and starts, of our society’s coming to terms with feminism and the changing status of women. And two are recognizably the sources for Roy Lichtenstein’s “Whaam” and “Brushstrokes,” well-known mid-twentieth century Pop art paintings.

It is a pleasure to explore this fascinating subject matter using traditional techniques to create the illusion of light falling on three-dimensional forms; this mash-up of old and new has been rewarding.” – Sharon Moody

Courtesy of Sharon Moody 


“Sharon Moody was born in Florida and grew up in North Carolina, where she received a B.A. in Fine Art from Appalachian State University, studying printmaking and drawing with Bill Dunlap and Noyes Long. After relocating to New Jersey she executed a series of photorealistic paintings of cities and towns of that state; exhibiting her drawings and paintings in N.J. and N.Y. led to a Fellowship in Painting from the New Jersey Council of the Arts.

She resumed her studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C, studying painting with William Woodward and drawing with Frank Wright. She was awarded the Morris Louis Fellowship and received an M.F.A. in Painting. Her technical training included studying the methods and materials of painting throughout the history of art and a stint copying masterworks at the National Gallery, an experience which subsequently informed her work.

She has exhibited her work for three decades and has been employed as a graphic designer and teacher. She has taught at Georgetown University since 1998, including courses in drawing, painting, design, and technical art history. Recent works are still life and trompe l’oeilcompositions.”

From the Official Sharon Moody Website


2014 – “Photorealism: The Everyday Illuminated,” Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California

2011 – “The New York Project,” Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery, New York, New York

2010 – “Faculty Exhibition,” Spagnuolo Gallery, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

2009 – “For Real? The Art of Deception,” Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries, Concord, North Carolina

2008 – “Virginia Realists: Sharon Moody and Petra Gerber,” Tyler Gallery, Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus, Alexandria, Virginia

2006 – “10th Annual Greater Washington DC International Art Competition,” Fraser Gallery, Bethesda, Maryland

2005 – “Winter Exhibition,” Fraser Gallery, Bethesda, Maryland

2003 – “Of Small Things,” Degas Gallery, McLean, Virginia

2002 – “Secrets of the Real,” Degas Gallery, McLean, Virginia

2000 – “GW Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition,” Dimock Gallery, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

1998 – “Reality Check,” Arlington Art Center, Arlington, Virginia

1997 – “Four New Painters from Washington,” Cudahy’s Gallery, Richmond, Virginia

1996 – “Art on the Seventh Floor,” Washington Design Center, Washington, D.C.

1995 – “Sharon Moody and Alexia Scott,” Middle Street Gallery, Washington, Virginia

1994 – “Fall Student Exhibition and Annual Student Awards Exhibition,” Dimock Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1993 – “Fall Student Exhibition and Annual Student Awards Exhibition,” Dimock Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1992 – “Artists in Action,” Emerson Gallery, McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, Virginia

1991 – “Teacher and Student,” Gallery One, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland