Marcel Molina’s “Sugar Mills”

/ 23 November, 2014

Terrific book of poems on a daring contemporary visual exploit

It could be said—in the unavoidable comparisons and appraisals all research implies—that the sugar industry did not have, as an issue, a great effect in the historiography of Cuban art (…). A brief look, however, reveals the relativity of this first idea. (…)

In the center of this panorama, the dramatic strength in plastic expressiveness—in engraving, as a return to the beginning of the first appearances of “sugar” in Cuban art—of Marcel Molina, an artist from Cienfuegos who lived the before and after, the “comings and goings” of the sugar mills skirting the town of Cruces. (…)

In Desnudando el tiempo, the social, cultural, political and economic dimension of his proposal went beyond the singularity of artistic representation. The photo-serigraphic spectrum of this series turned into a ghostly image of the “dismantling” (…).

Mal Tiempo, the sugar mill, will be a constant motivation in Marcel Molina’s career. The issue is not exhausted. After those works came another—also superb—, Soñar no cuesta nada (Dreaming Costs Nothing), a xylography too. In it, what remained of Mal Tiempo became, making use of realities from plastic metaphors, in the visual utopia of an amusement park (including the roller coaster) in which the very story of the sugar mill joined in a permissible determination that would not cost much either… A refined irony, then, in the continuity of “reconversions,” although from the concrete possibilities art offers with its “re-significations”…

Solo 1 tiene la verdad (Only 1 Has the Truth), awarded at the Concurso Nacional de Colagrafía Belkis Ayón, held in Cienfuegos on March 2013 (…) it was the result of a well thought-out strategy by this young artist. (…)

Then came the “return” for those who did not think about it; indisputable for those of us who believed that this topic was not yet finished. It came with a title of sad poetic lamentation, it could not be different: Elegía (Elegy), knocked down sugar cane or towers?

Marcel Molina was once more reaffirmed as one of the most suggestive voices in contemporary Cuban engraving

when winning last year the Award granted by the 8th National Meeting of this art expression, held in the Center for the Development of Visual Arts in Havana.

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