The work of artist Ruben Molina is the result of an extensive study and research of the great masters of painting such as: Rembrandt, Goya and Rubens. At first, he explores all forms, light, strokes, the sensuality of the drawing and the strength of the drama in the painting of each of them. It is evident in many of his early works with a classic, academic style to later be interested in teachers such as: Claude Monet and Joaquin Sorolla; resulting in a more carefree, freer painting, with more color and light, even manifested in themes such as landscapes and seascapes with children.
Finally the masters of contemporary art like Jackson Pollock draw their attention for freedom and gesturalism and draw intuitively without any brush or spatula tool to paint. Pollock’s dripping allows the paint to flow on its own and speak for itself without the need for more tools or instruments other than the free fall of the pictorial pigment on the canvas. In the recent works of Ruben Molina, two great pictorial traditions converge: the sensuality of the drawing of the Dutch school, the impressionism of monet and the radical freedom of Jackson Pollock’s dripping painting. It uses simple subjects such as: horses, flowers, faces, among others, to capture them on the canvas in the manner of teacher Jackson Pollock; without brushes, without spatulas – only clinging to the free fall of the painting and letting it speak for itself.
What’s your artistic background?
In 1980, I was 9 years old so I studied a basic course of drawing, painting and graphic arts by 3 years at the Taller de Arte Integral Elbano Mendez Osuna in Tovar Merida Venezuela. Then in 1991, I started working as an assistant graphic printer in the graphic arts workshop of Durban Gallery in Caracas Venezuela, where I learned about color and graphic techniques.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
Perfecting the artwork as well as always renewing the art language are integral to the work of an artist.
What role does the artist have in society?
The artist projects the social environment and the world at a given time. In fact, when we want to determine the level reached in an ancient civilization, we always start by studying the arts.
What art do you most identify with?
I identify with the plastic arts in general, specifically painting and junk-art in sculpture. Junk-art in sculpture is an area where I put my creativity to the test and I consider that recycling is the new marble and the new bronze that our contemporary society offers us to make sculptures. Painting is my way of expressing a thought in an explosive way with color and gestures.
What themes do you pursue?
My work is structured and supported by color, expression and action-painting but always resorting to figuration; my themes are usually: faces, flowers, landscapes, animals, fruits among others. Actually the themes are a pretext since I seek to express a more honest painting without tricks where the whole process of elaboration can be appreciated.
What is your favorite work art?
The work of art that has given me the most satisfaction has been a small work in which I painted an African child playing with water, where he expresses a lot of joy; in it are all my virtues as an artist. (Title: Joy / medium: acrylic on canvas / size: 30cm x 25 cm / year 2020)
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
In spite of my exclusive dedication at my workshop, I have also been a teacher of drawing and painting. I have worked in tree-nursery projects, reforestation and landscaping; I am passionate about the environment and recycling. I also worked as a graphic arts printer for some time. Basically I have worked all my life in areas related to art.
To work professionally, it is a way to build civilization, it is also a way to leave a record of our passage through this world. Anyway it will always be the best way to open portals to other dimensions, to heal souls and fill them with love and also because I like and I am passionate about art; it is my vocation and profession. Who does not appreciate a dance, a flute that sounds soothing, a painting that vibrates with color in a room or a sculpture that seems to have life or read a poem that fills you with peace or wisdom?
What is an artistic outlook on life?
Art is based on aesthetics so it showcases beauty. That`s why, art highlights the beautiful aspect of forms, sounds, places, clothes, taste. That`s why ‘beautiful’ reminds us of ‘eternity’ and should lead us to conclude that life itself should be in search of ‘beauty’ and therefore ‘harmony’. For example: War is a situation of Non-Beauty and Non-Harmony; our search would be for ‘Peace’ because this is a situation of Beauty and Harmony.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Once I visited the house of an art collector friend of mine and I saw a small drawing in Chinese ink on paper. It was an interpretation about the Meninas by Diego Velazquez, a Spanish painter. It was very well done but I could not identify the signature of the author. I asked my friend and he answered: ‘that work is yours; you gave it to me years ago’. I immediately remembered the work and it left me very thoughtful and perplexed.
What food, drink or song inspires you?
I love a good coffee to start working in my workshop; I drink 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day. I haven’t drunk alcohol of any kind for 25 years; I’m not passionate about it. I think that a good family meal with my mother, my brother is the most inspiring thing for me; earlier there was my father who joined us for meals but he doesn’t share with us anymore because he died. Also a good meal with friends is inspiring.
I live in a place surrounded by trees and many birds, parrots, sparrow hawks and when I work in my workshop I do it in silence to listen to that wonderful concert of birds. As for my taste in music, I love to listen to the Duduk flute and the lute; they are ancient sounds.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
The artistic life is not lonely; it is always full of work, study, learning and meditation. Actually, we work every day. Sometimes I dedicate my free time to going to the mountains, meadows or going to the beach as being in the midst of nature nurtures an artist’s creativity.
What do you dislike about the art world?
What do you dislike about your work?
I cannot achieve excellence in drawing and depth in space. It is a subject that worries me a lot.
What do you like about your work?
I like color, light and expression in painting.
Should art be funded?
Certainly, art should be financed, it should always have sponsors. If wars are financed, art should be financed even more, of course science and sports should be included. For example, the invitation made to me by this prestigious magazine is a way of financing and supporting my work, that`s why I am grateful and blessed.
What role does art funding have?
Since ancient times, empires, great civilizations, kingdoms have always financed artistic production and included it in their urban projects. This allows the creator to dedicate himself without worrying about production and not to divert his talent to another trade that in the long run ends up burying his talent. Art Patronage allows arts to flourish and it can be used for great projects also it raises the spiritual level of a society. In my case, many projects have been stopped because I do not have a sponsor, a gallery or patronage to help me realize these projects. All my achievements have been by my own merit without sponsors or any payment of service.
What is your dream project?
I am pleased with life. Professionally I would love to exhibit and share my work in the countries of the Middle East and all countries in Asia. In those places there is a great cultural deposit and a lot of wisdom that I want to know and discover. Once I was in Egypt as a guest artist for an International Sculpture Symposium and there I realized that this amazing place was the gateway to a wonderful world of antiquity that still speaks to us. These are sacred and sensual lands that penetrate our senses.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
There are three masters who I greatly admire: Rembrandt, Claude Monet and Jackson Pollock. A comparison of my work with these three great masters would be a great honor for me.
Favourite or most inspirational place?
I live in a place surrounded by blue mountains, many trees, many birds, there are two rivers in the city and the sky is always very blue. For me to contemplate every day my surroundings are enough to inspire me.
Professionally, what`s your goal?
To show my work at museums, auction houses, any important public and private art collections. Also it is important for me to consolidate my work in the Middle East and Asian markets. So far, my goals have been partially achieved.
To continue working and studying about my work. I would like to make great scale junk-art sculpture projects at a public place or for an institution. Outside my country or abroad; I have two offers of art residencies, an invitation to a sculpture symposium, a project on junk-art.
Rubenmolin[email protected],com / rubenmolinaart instagram /cellphone: 584147130667
Thank you so much for your support
A well deserved review of this Venezuelan artist, full of great talent.
His words evoke the essence of art and proyect the meaning of life in its maximum splendor : light, color and movement make the artistic work of Ruben Antonio Molina really interesting and momentous.
Thank you so much