The Art of 'Empire' - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

The Art of 'Empire'

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

A New Orleans artist is has become a part of the “Empire” phenomenon. John Moody's unique paintings and style landed his work on the hit TV show.

“What excites me about it is the ability to provoke thought,” Moody said. “It's more than a pretty picture - it has some type of meaning behind it.”

Moody speaks on canvas.

“It's impactful and provokes a certain feeling or emotion through painting and affects someone's life,” Moody said.

“I like to kinda let the brush strokes have its own control.”

He wasn't always certain painting would be his life's work. The saint aug grad excelled at track and field but art drew him in. After a couple of years at UNO, Moody transferred to Savannah College of Art and Design. He excelled at the javelin while he earned a bachelor’s degree in visual effects. By the time he had earned his masters, oil, acrylic and even spray paint came calling.
When the president of SCAD stepped into his studio during an art exhibit last year, he had his proof.

“Paula Wallace she came in with her secretary, and they were looking at my work and said this would be perfect,” Moody said. “She has a connection with Lee Daniels - the director of ‘Empire.’”

Here's what Daniels had to say on Instagram: “This is an amazing artist. What's his name? Jon Moody. I love John [expletive] Moody.”

In one scene on the show, character Jamal Lyons talks with a reporter at his home. On the walls behind him is Moody's massive painting, part of a series titled "Ferguson."

Doug MacCash is an art critic with NOLA.com.

“What I think Jon Moody's paintings provide you with is an immediate punch, an immediate emotion,” Maccash said. “They’re big, they're bright, and they're faces, they're portraits." 

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