Dark Bird Palace/Paint Brush Palace, Tesuque Flea MarketKelly Moore




15 Flea Market Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87506, United States

Visiting Information

The flea market – and Moore’s stalls – are open Friday through Sunday, 9 – 4. Admission to the market is free, and Moore is happy to discuss his work with passersby.

About the Artist/Site

Originally from the Ozarks Mountains region in Arkansas, self-taught artist Kelly Moore established himself in the Santa Fe, NM area and has become locally known for his expressive paintings of dark birds, wild horses, dead cowboys, Tricksters, and more. He paints both on canvas and on board; some of the former are repainted on used canvases he has found himself at garage sales or the flea market. His figures and animals may be surrounded by lettering or abstracted forms, sometimes ghostly and other times almost processional.

Moore’s permanent painting shed at the Tesuque Flea Market has become an installation in its own right, a home away from home where Moore paints, opines, and interacts with passersby. The more extensive of the two installations – the Dark Bird Palace – is an open-sided rectangular shed draped with found objects, plastic flags, bones/antlers, paint brushes, hats, and paintings of all sizes. Painted poles to the sides expand the space; they, too, are hung with paintings. The exterior walls are so crammed with materials – or, in Moore’s description – “crappola” – that the infrastructure is impossible to see. The roof is corrugated tin, and the interior of the ceiling is painted and hung with stiffened paint brushes and more found objects. An altar-like mound of even more found objects, topped by a cow skull, is a central focus, but the interior walls themselves are hung much more conventionally with selected paintings.

The second installation – the Paint Brush Palace – is smaller; its exterior is festooned primarily with rows of stiffened paint brushes (and a few palettes with dried paint), hung from wooden slats on which Moore has painted his first name over and over. The interior of this shed is, again, more like a conventional gallery display, with selected works hung with sufficient space around them to enhance viewing.

In addition to his paintings, Moore also writes poetry. His themes generally discuss the human condition, the need for art and symbology, and a desire for basic environmental consciousness. Selected poems and reproductions of some of his more iconic work were collected into a self-published book, Absurdity is My Friend: Art and Stories from the Desert (Eat Everything Press, 2011).

The flea market – and Moore’s stalls – are open Friday through Sunday, 9 – 4. Admission to the market is free, and Moore is happy to discuss his work with passersby.

~Jo Farb Hernández, 2015



Map & Site Information

15 Flea Market Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87506 us
Latitude/Longitude: 35.7679377 / -105.9458678

Nearby Environments

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The Bone Zone (Tiny Town/Bone Yard)

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Studio 3115

Madrid, New Mexico

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