Craig Mooney’s roots in art go back to his youth. As a young child, born and raised in Midtown Manhattan, the artist began to draw inspiration from his father, a physician and avid amateur painter. Mooney would scour office-building rubbish bins on weekends for art supplies. This lead to some “memorable” finds but some less memorable artistic creations. The city was an immensely inspirational place for the young artist. Especially on weekends, when the city streets would empty and leave a vast canyon of office towers in its place to be explored.
Mooney left the city in 1988 to attend Wheaton College (MA) just outside of Boston where he received his BFA in 1992. Boston, he found to be as rich a city in the arts as NY and took advantage of the college’s close proximity to museums by visiting them frequently. During and after college, the artist worked with the filmmaking team Merchant Ivory Productions in New York, Texas and London. Some of these productions include “Ballad of the Sad Café”, “Remains of the Day”, and “Howard’s End”. Craig Mooney secured his first large commissioned work from New York Hospital in 1995. This resulted in a series of works for the hospital and Cornell Medical College. Earnings from this early commission allowed the artist to move to rural Vermont to set up a studio.
Currently, Craig’s focus is in painting large, semi-abstract landscapes inspired by his surroundings. There is a strong emotional undercurrent to his work. Because Mooney does not paint specific places, his work seems to evoke a sense of familiarity in viewers. Growing up in such a cramped and congested environment as Manhattan instilled in the artist a great sense of curiosity and appreciation for wide-open spaces. His paintings appear to capture a moment suspended in time. While his work feels familiar, it’s not specific; rather it is, on a very basic level, symbolism of what could have been, has been or will be.