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Matthew Moore, "Rotations: Moore Estates," sorghum and wheat on 35 acres of family farm, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2005.

Matthew Moore

Agricultural art allows Matthew Moore to begin to, in his words, "reconcile the urban with the rural at a time where many historical and cultural practices are in danger of being engulfed." After farming the same land outside Phoenix, Arizona, for four generations, the Moore family faces a certain future in which its land will be converted to residential housing.

"With the pace of suburban development, stewardship of the land becomes a major concern," explains the artist. Projects like "Rotations: Moore Estates" help call attention to these transitions through aesthetic events in unexpected settings.

For this work, the artist created a one-third scale replica of the layout of the first planned community being built on his family's farmland in Arizona. The homes were planted in sorghum and the roads in black-bearded wheat. For other pieces, Moore cut suburban floor plans into a lawn and a barley field and brought sculptures of rammed earth and wheat into urban gallery environments. The reconciliation he seeks is visually fierce.

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