Born in New York City, Moore was raised on Long Island and spent his childhood summers in the Adirondacks, sparking a lifelong interest in the natural environment. After studying art and psychology at Yale University, he spent a year (1977–78) in Paris. Moore returned to Manhattan in 1979, where he actively participated in the burgeoning Downtown art scene. In 1985 he purchased a country home in Deposit, New York, where he began growing vegetables. Gardening drew his attention to America’s vast industrial farms and ill-used national parks—in his words, nature’s “sites of great, but toxic, beauty.” Many of his paintings reflect his admiration for Hudson River School landscape artists. But rather than marveling at nature’s sublime power, Moore focused on the looming threat of environmental pollution.