|Artist: Molina José||Width: 16 cm|
|Support: Paper||Height: 20 cm|
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"Venus of Milos Retouché" is a small size work on paper by Spanish artist José Molina.
This work is part of the series "A Hero Never Dies", in which the artist redraws the image of iconic figures of Western culture in his own playful and ironic style.
The model is the famous Venus of Milos, a Greek statue, symbol of classical culture. Molina paints her as a Lego character, with a fairy body.
In this retouché version of the Venus of Milos, Molina adds to the original version a collage with references to mass culture and pop culture.
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Work realized in oil and acrylic on paper. Signed in original by the artist.
José Molina, was born in Madrid in 1965, and lives in Como.
From the age of 11, he started to study art in several art schools in Spain, proceeding with his studies until the second year at the Real Academia des Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid.
At the same time, he starts to work in advertising, a passion he will follow until the age of 35, when he will decide to dedicate himself only to painting.
In 2004 José Molina open his first solo exhibition titled Morir para Vivir in Milano: an exhibition characterised by a profound self-examining and psychological research.
Between 2005 and 2007 Molina's analysis shift to the relationship between mankind and society, giving form to his second collection, Predatores.
This series, "born from a dream", is exhibited at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia di Milano and curated by the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi.
For three years, Molina's artistic production is characterised by the stylistic choice of the black and white.
In 2010, the artist decides to go back to the use of colours, realizing a series of 12 big oils on panel and titling it Cosas Humanas.
Noumerous are the Italian institutions which have had the luck of showing Molina Artworks:
Molina's Works of Art have had a great eco also outside of Itlay: they have been exhibited at the Gallery Able Fine Art in New York, in Miami at Context Art Fair and in several other locations in Asia.
Molina's favourite theme is definitely the human figure, characterised by all its social, spiritual and instinctive facets.
The description of the peculiarities of human life are a distinctive trait of Molina's works.
Following, three collections that express Molina's anthropological reflection, from the relationship of human being with himself, to the way he/she decides to see him/herself and how to change.
Death is a recurrent theme in José Molina production. Despite his secularism, he shares the thoughs expressed by the Ecclesiastes in the Holy Bible, for whom "there is a time to be born and a time to die".
This awarness and the acceptance of his destiny, allowed Molina to develop the theme of death in an active relation with life, avoiding skeptical and pessimistic tones.
With the series Morir para Vivir, Molina reflects on humankind lethargy and on its ability to overcome weaknesses.
The nine chapters, in which the series Morir para Vivir is devided, focus on the passivity of the human being who does not practice free will, therefore willingly losing his possibility of choosing.
Mankind let fears and inactivity to possess him, living silently and waiting resigned for the end.
From the grafic point of view, with this series Molina has already demonstrated to have a personal and skilled style and trait.
The combination of different techniques, like the use of oil paint and ink sketches, expresses and objectifys Molina's personality, an artist that is both calm and anguished, balanced and expansive, introspective and extroverted.
The Spanish artist José Molina realizes thirty-seven characters as distorted human figures and with exaggerated features like teeth, noses and eyes.
The protagonists are confused politicians dissuaded by the triviality of life, policemen who feel like gods, fish-men who escape windwhirl in the sea, but without knowing which direction they are taking.
Some human traits are associated to animals, like elephants, ants and also sperms, providing them with horrifying teeth.
Naturally, anyone would feel unrelated and estranged to these characters.
But, after a closer look, we do necessarily realise to be part of this collectivity.
In order to avoid this feeling of alienation imposed by these surreal creatures, it is necessary to understand that they represent and exaggerate situations that are common to everyone, and from which do not exist any escape.
To destroy the uncertainty that reigns over humanity, it is necessary to be self-consious, and also to be aware of the others and the world.
For José Molina, nature is the hold to which hold on to every time that humankind is in need of finding himself again.
Molina believes that nature posseses the ability to bring back balance and armony in the frenzy lives of contemporary society.
With Cosas Humanas, Molina wants to pay a sincere homage to the beauty of this world, from which he takes the pure and bright colours.
The works of the series are not many, but they are filled with significance and show the deep anthopological search developed by Molina.
At a first glance, the portraits of the collection Cosas Humanas can result as dark and distressing, but Molina's message has to be search in a metaphor.
The eyes of men expand in a bi-dimensional glance that marks the transition from the eye that look at the past to the one which look at the future.
With these works, Molina shows his conviction about the existence of salvation also for these controversial figures.
And the only way for salvation is to find again a primordial connection with the nature that surrounds them, learning to communicate and share with the other all the wonders that nature has given to us.
The main characters of this collection are deformed and their propotions are not correct nor natural.
The faces split like the reflections in the mirror of a fun fairs, or they are represented like wooden cortex from which the eyes pop out like glass.
Oppositely to what one may think, the beauty of them can be found exactly in their deformity, in their agonyzing look that asks for mercy.
Molina gave up his promising career in advertising because he felt oppressed by a sense of responsibility towards his counterparts.
As a matter of fact, for Molina art is an instrument of interaction through which make available his research, both self-examining and anthropological.
With his visonary style, Molina manages to exploxe and investigate humanity, using surrealism as revealing languange of hidden truths.
Moreover, Molina usually combines his works with texts and thoughts that are functional for the understanding of the messagge hidden in his works.
Molina's artistic path is characterised by the analysis of the most secret aspects of the human soul and for the use of the black and white, which visually enhance their impression on the viewer.
In the last series of works, titled A Hero Never Dies, Molina abandons the intense and profound tones and substitutes them with bright and vivid colours.
In this collection, Moline let himself to be inspired by a feeling of carefreeness, combinig plastic Lego bodies with the faces of famous masterpieces of Western art, actors, singers, superheros and so on.
The contrast between the expression of the faces and the stiffness of the bodies, given by the juxtaposition of the famous bricks, creates a significant short circuit.
This new reading is a way to make his art accessible and communicative for everyone. The title of the series does not want to project this figures in a mythic world of heroes that does not belong to us, but rather to lead us to think about the very same concept of heroism in contemporary society.
The ironic, and sometimes tender, context get the heroes of our times closer to the common people.
Freddie Mercury wear the dress of a queen and hold a mic-scepter; the Monna Lisa is an undisputed Wonder Woman and the biblical David can't be nothing else but a young Superman, since he has been able to destroy such a strong enemy.
In fron of this paintings we have the impression to be looking at surreal tarot cards: Queens, knights, soldiers, superheroes that each one is called to read and interpret in his/her own way.
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