Gary Moran

dogs, fish, and a reluctant piano

“Large Sunfish”  54″ x 40″.  Pastel on paper  (4 panels)


Ask any interior designer worth his or her salt, and they’ll agree.  Art is an accessory – and arguably the most important one they assist their clients in procuring.  Some go as far as to say that it’s the most difficult acquisition they assist with because it often represent a substantial financial commitment, and because art in the popular psyche is seen as an investment which will remain with a client for a lifetime (and beyond.)

I try to go to at least 2 gallery shows a week.  Living in New York City it’s hard to imagine not taking advantage of the opportunity.  But I’ve learned that art is everywhere.  This week while visiting John Lyle at his studio in Long Island City, Connie and I saw the work of his Director of Visual Communications – Gary Moran – hanging on a wall.  Gary takes photographs of fish he catches during the summer months, and dissects them into pastel grids.  He’s also currently captivated by images of dogs in motion.

We chatted with him about his life, his road to New York, and his artistic process.  Here’s what he had to say:

“The reason my work uses images of Dogs and Fish is simply that they are prevalent in my life right now.  They are both so common that they can get overlooked.  I do a little fishing in the summer. Nothing exotic.  I don’t go to exotic locations or catch rare species.  I catch the fish that I draw.  I like to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary .   I want something common to take on a new presence that (hopefully) makes people see it in a new way.  I’m also fascinated with dogs, they’re everywhere in New York.  We humanize them and it’s difficult to get beyond the cute factor.   I’m hoping to capture some of the pure animal, violent energy they exude.   The dogs were photographed in my neighborhood dog run.

Photography and drawing have always had a symbiotic relationship to me.  They influence and inform each other.  The process that the image goes through may involve many steps or just a few.  I let the image dictate where it goes but it always comes out as a drawing or photograph.  

This show is my first foray back into the art world in many years.  After graduate school at the Art Institute of Chicago, I played jazz piano more and more and it eventually became my career.  I also taught jazz studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia for several years.  A year and a half ago I made a conscious decision to start making art again.  I’ve wanted to do so for a long time – but I didn’t want it to just be a hobby.  I felt that I really had to dive in wholeheartedly.” 

“Two Dogs” 24″ x 24″.  Archival Inkjet Print

As it turns out, Gary’s having a show of his recent drawings and photographs.  It opens in a week on Thursday, October 18th, at ROOQ Fine Art.  I’d like to extend an invitation (from both Gary and myself) to the opening reception that evening from 6-8pm.  If you’re not in NYC and you’d like to learn more, or see images of his work, you can reach him through John Lyle, or at


‘Dogs and Fishes’    Gary Moran

ROOQ Fine Art and Frame    13 East 4th Street  NYC