The Detroit Institute of Arts has installed the recently acquired painting “Queen Mother Helen Moore,” by native Detroit artist Mario Moore. The painting was featured in the museum’s recent exhibition “Art of Rebellion,” and is an intimate portrait of the artist’s grandmother proudly displaying framed photographs of her sons.
As Moore explained to PBS NewsHour about the painting, “As soon as you turn on the news they tend to show the mourning black mother. That’s the narrative that you get. And I believe that [the narrative] is a way to find compassion for the ‘mother.’ But once it gets used over and over and over again, it loses its value. For me, the women in my family have a very different perspective. They’re very protective, very powerful.”
Moore, who currently lives in Brooklyn, earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in painting at Yale University, and is an alumnus of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies.
The painting is on view in the DIA’s suite of African American art galleries in a section with the theme of social and political consciousness.
The DIA is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.