Felipe is an artist sensitive to both art historical tradition and innovation. In his artistic imagination some of the elements of the work of great modern masters appear to be reinvented and given new meaning. At the same time, he presents his viewers with a visual vocabulary of images and forms that represents a completely novel approach to the image.
Each of Molina's prints is technically exquisite. The quality of the printing, the depth and richness of the inks in the colored works, and the delicacy of the lines in the monochromatic pieces is gratifying. In certain of the black and white prints, Molina seems to create a personal shorthand, with his use of simplified human figures and summarily drawn non-objective elements.
In these works vague reminiscences of some of the social commentaries of artists of the past from Goya to George Grosz to Jose Luis Cuevas might be comprehended. In the richly layered and densely textured pieces in which color (often a deep red) plays a key role in establishing the mood, the artist recalls the achievements of other Latin American masters such as Rufino Tamayo or Francisco Toledo, both natives of the Mexican state of Oaxaca where, since ancient times, a rich artistic tradition has been firmly in place.
In fact, it is with Toledo that Molina seems to have some very interesting affinities. Like Toledo, Molina creates scenes of fantasy in which he often employs the images of animals or humans engaged in improbable activities. A personal mythology develops before our eyes as we observe print after print. While realizing and appreciating their manipulation of the language of fantasy, we understand that these prints also carry with them messages of a high degree of seriousness. They appear almost as metaphors for both the chaos and the wished-for tranquility of modern as well as cosmic life.
Edward J. Sullivan - Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art at New York University. He is the author of more than thirty books and exhibition catalogues on Latin American and Caribbean art.