Denver was born in rural Louisiana in January 1937, and after several tragic events went to live on a plantation in Red River Parish with his Uncle James and Aunt Ethel, who were share croppers.
Sometime around 1960, he hopped a freight train and began a life as a homeless drifter until 1966 when a judge awarded him a 10 year contract for hard labor at the Louisiana State School of Fools, aka, Angola Prison!
According to Denver, he went in a man and left a man and received a standing ovation from prisoners in the yard as he walked out of there in 1976. For the next 22 years he was homeless on the streets of Fort Worth, Texas. However, there were a few times after a brush with the law, he'd ride the rails visiting cities and hobo jungles across America, sampling regional cuisine like Vienna sausage with fellow passengers.
In 1998, "He never met Miss Debbie," Miss Debbie met him and his life was changed forever.
He was the co-author of the book, “Same Kind of Different As Me" and “What Difference Do It Make?", as well as an artist, public speaker, and volunteer for homeless causes. In 2006, as evidence of the complete turn around of his life, the citizens of Fort Worth honored him as "Philanthropist of the Year" for his work with homeless people at the Union Gospel Mission.
Denver passed away in Dallas, TX on March 31, 2012.
"Denver's art is raw, yet innocent, and directly from his soul...He began painting at sixty-five before he learned to read and write two years later...He does not consider himself an artist but I do. I get excited every time I walk into his little studio in our garage and see the latest creation of his hands, and my heart sinks when I go there and see he has done nothing!!!! People from all across America have bought his art to have a connection to him and his story....Enjoy."
- Ron Hall
A few words from Cerulean Gallery's Director about Denver Moore's artwork:
I had the pleasure of meeting Denver Moore and Ron Hall in the summer of 2007 to organize an art exhibition fundraiser for The Dallas-Haiti Project’s “The Giving Project” at Cerulean Gallery. We featured Denver’s paintings in a group exhibition and raised over $20,000 for the non-profit. As a result of that collaboration, Denver and I built a close friendship, and he gave me exclusive rights to sell his artwork. After I moved to Amarillo in the fall of 2009, I traveled to Dallas several times a year to visit my family and to meet with Denver to pick up new artwork. We would sit for hours while he interpreted each piece to me. Denver was always looking for a way to further spread his message of faith and hope, so we worked together to create a limited edition series of fine art giclee prints from his original painting, “We Are All Homeless Just Working Our Way Home”.
Denver Moore’s artwork is very special and unique. He only created when he felt moved by the holy spirit, and each piece is jam-packed with meaning. Denver’s subjects include self-portraits, hearts, crosses, angels, scenes from his books, words and animals. Angels were a particularly fond subject for Denver, and you will find in his works that he saw and interpreted his visions of angels in a very specific outline.
Some of Denver’s paintings are simply words scratched into the paint with little or no imagery. His words are Biblical scriptures or personal sayings of importance to Denver, which we call "Denverisms". Denver learned to read and write at a very late age, so his words were not always written perfectly or spelled correctly – and as Denver said, “that’s just like us as humans.” (not perfect). Sometimes his messages were broken up or unfinished, but he explained to me what he was trying to write in each piece so we could interpret them.
You may notice Denver’s unpredictable choice of colors. Denver used colors to express his emotions. In fact, pink was one of Denver’s favorite colors, so if you get a pink painting you can fondly look at it and know that Denver was in a good mood when he painted that one!
Each one of Denver’s original works are framed, and the frame was hand selected by Denver himself. Most of his frames are damaged (lightly scratched or chipped). This is a result of how he handled his artwork when transporting them. If it had been any other artist, I would have asked he or she to fix the frame, but because it was Denver, it only adds more of his character to the pieces. After all, Denver felt that they do not need to be perfect since he, himself, was not.
I hope you enjoy Denver’s work as much as we do and that each piece will remind you of Denver’s mission, love, and hope for all of us.
~ Caroline Crockett Kneese
Click on an image below then hover over the bottom of it to view its description.
Denver's printed note cards are sold in sets of 10 cards and 10 envelopes. There are 5 different images (2 cards of each image).
We Are All Homeless Just Working Our Way Home
We have created fine art giclee prints from one of Denver Moore's original pieces.
"We Are All Homeless Just Working Our Way Home" is a LIMITED EDITION of 150 prints on 100% cotton rag, OBA free, acid free, archival paper. Each print is hand signed by Denver Moore.
The image size is 18"w x 24"h (the same size as the original painting), and the full paper size is 20"w x 27"h.
On the original painting, Denver layered the paint colors and then scratched his message into the paint. The scanning and printing process for these fine art giclee prints is of the highest quality. The colors, size, and texture in the fine art giclee prints are very true to the original painting. Each fine art giclee print is sold UNFRAMED, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Why Can't I Be An Angel Too? Plantation Boss
David Smith with Trinity Community Ministries (TCM), a 501(c)3 organization based in Atlanta, GA, collaborated with Denver Moore in the fall of 2008 to create the following series of fine art giclee prints on paper for a fundraising event, Courage to Care, which raised nearly $900,000 in October, 2008. This event was mentioned in Ron Hall and Denver Moore's second book, “What Difference Do It Make?" on page 112. TCM has recently reached out to Cerulean Gallery to help continue the sale of these limited edition prints to further raise money for TCM. LESS THAN 20 HAND SIGNED PRINTS ARE AVAILABLE IN EACH EDITION
“Why Can't I Be An Angel Too?" and“Plantation Boss" are both a LIMITED EDITION of 200 prints on 100% cotton rag, OBA free, acid free, archival paper. Each print is hand signed by Denver Moore.
Each image size is 9"w x 11"h, and the full paper size is 11"w x 14"h.
The scanning and printing process for these fine art giclee prints is of the highest quality. The colors, size, and texture in the fine art giclee prints are very true to the original paintings. Each fine art giclee print is UNFRAMED, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
In 2008, Denver Moore and David Smith collaborated in creating fine art giclee prints on canvas from Denver's original, “Plantation Boss". Cerulean Gallery has recently been given the privilege to place the remaining handful of prints on the market. LESS THAN 6 PRINTS ARE AVAILABLE IN THIS EDITION
"Plantation Boss" on canvas is a LIMITED EDITION of 15 prints created by Digital Arts in 2008. On the Original Painting, Denver scratched into the paint surrounding the figure, “May God Blest You", and below his signature, Denver wrote, “May God Blest you ALL." This series is printed on Breathing Color Chromata LYVE canvas. The canvases are stretched onto 1 3/4" deep stretcher bars and varnished to protect against cracking and scuffing. Each print has also been hand-embellished with Golden Gel Topcoat with UVLS (UV Protection) to create texture and mimic Denver's paint strokes to make the print look just like the original. This particular series of prints on canvas are NOT hand signed by Denver Moore.
Each canvas size is 20"w x 24"h (the same size as the Original Painting).
The scanning and printing process for these fine art giclee prints is of the highest quality. The colors, size, and texture in the fine art giclee prints are very true to the original painting. Each fine art giclee print is on stretcher bars, unframed, and includes a certificate of authenticity.
To request pricing and shipping quotes, please contact Caroline Kneese, firstname.lastname@example.org
Raised from the Dead
Framed Size: 36 ½”w x 24 ¾”
(Hand painted frame) Mixed media
This is the last painting Denver ever created. He found this print at a garage sale and painted over it. He chose this print because the houses surrounded by water reminded him of Angola Prison, and his life prior to his renewed life walking with Jesus, which was isolated and dark. He painted over the houses and water to make them come alive – to represent how the Lord pulled him out of the darkness and into the light. He then covered the painting with glitter, which represents the light of the Lord. Denver also painted and signed the frame. When Denver shared this piece with me, he was very ill, and ready to go Home – to live eternal life with Jesus Christ. Denver passed away in his sleep 7 months later. There is a card that he permanently glued onto the bottom left corner of the canvas that reads, "Same Kind of Different As Me. You never know whose eyes God is Watchin' you through. It probably ain't gonna be your preacher and it just might be someone who was livin' like I used to."
On the bottom, he scratched into the paint, "Raise from the dead." _________________________________________________________________________
The Bucket of Blood
Framed Size: 30 ¾”w x 24 ¾”h
Mixed media, Frame selected by Denver
This is a building named “The Bucket of Blood" at Angola Prison. Denver painted this from his memory. A very long time ago, this was a barn used to house prisoners. Eventually they turned it the first dormitory for prisoners. Since then, they built a new dormitory, and then used this one to send the worst prisoners to be punished. There was a well in the back of the barn. The structure at the top of the roof collected the rainwater and directed it down into the well. That is what they used for their water in this building.