Graphite, ink and gouache on graph paper
Dimensions: 20cm (H) x 33cm (W) / 7.9" (H) x 13" (W)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
"Keep it under your Stetson"express Molla´s constant search for the perfect balance between organic and geometric forms. This drawing on graph paper is one of his unique pieces inspired by the American artist Edward McKnight Kauffer and its poster series created during WWII for the John B. Stetson Company, known the world over as a maker of stylish hats. In this body of work, Mollá shows a clear tension between abstract, geometric compositions and figurative visual codes. With a tightly limited color palette of grey and black, Mollá remixes historical iconography in his work to create a style uniquely his own. In an article for Whitewall Magazine, writer Lily Alexander illuminated this concept of warping in the artist's work: “Time is flexible in Mollá’s work, and different time periods and styles exist simultaneously. We enter the graph as a multi-dimensional world – which allows our minds to grasp what time might look like if it is layered rather than linear” . Mollá's stylistic endeavor creates a polarizing effect - an almost magnetic push-pull sensibility. As artist Shepard Fairey, a collector of Mollá's work, has written, “the tension between all these elements is fascinating. At a glance they are graphically powerful, but then they also have this meticulous subtlety which is just beautiful.”
Based in: Valencia
Roberto Mollá (b. 1966, Valencia, Spain) is a Spanish artist associated with the Contemporary Post- conceptual Painting. He has worked in the media of painting, drawing and photography. Mollá received a BFA in 1989 from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) with a Major in Painting. His work has been exhibited in galleries, art fairs and museums in Spain, USA, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea and China.
Influenced by contemporary literature, Japanese floating world iconography, and urban landscape--among other contemporary pressures--his paintings pay their respect to art historical sources as well. Maker of hybrid paintings and works on paper, drawing on the heterodox intersection of Japanese popular art, surrealism and vorticism, Roberto Molla’s work seems to explore notions of transformation, visual disturbance and memory.
Mollá first exhibited his work in 1994 in Tokyo, a city that provides consistent inspiration for his works on paper and artist books, which refer to such diverse visual traditions as two-dimensional architectural representation, woodblock prints, anime and modernist graphic design. His paintings and drawings has been presented in Japan in 26 exhibitions. He has received grants from both the Japanese and Spanish governments that have allowed him to spend time creating work in Japan. In 1996 he was the recipient of the Marunuma Artist’s in Residence in Asaka, Japan.
In 2002 Mollá began to exhibit regularly in the USA being part of the team of artists represented by Kesting / Ray Gallery (NY), a group of artists united by a common interest in the images generated by the urban environment and architecture. Kesting / Ray has also presented Mollá’s work at numerous art fairs, including solo booths at both the PULSE New York and SCOPE Miami art fairs. In 2010 he got the PULSE NY People’s Choice Award.
In Spain, he has participated in numerous exhibitions in Madrid, Valencia, Seville and Santander, and he has participated in art fairs such as ARCO, Foro Sur, Arte Santander and the Lisbon Art Fair. His work has been exhibited at Observatori 2005–Valencia Science Museum, Oviedo Biennale and in the travelling show Pieza a Pieza organised by the Instituto Cervantes.
As co-founder (with Juan Cuéllar) of Encapsulados, a curatorial lab that organizes nomadic artist projects around the world. Roberto Mollá has curated 15 group shows in Tokio, Miami, Cartagena, NY, Berlin, Seville, Valencia, Hanoi, Málaga, Seoul, Beijing and Évora.
Mollá’s work can be found in numerous private and public collections worldwide. He currently lives and works in Valencia, Spain.
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