“Past the Tangled Present”, Jaime Molina’s new exhibit at the Denver Art Museum


Just in time for Halloween, Jaime Molina’s new exposition has opened at the Denver Art Museum. “Past the Tangled Present” is a sample of his whimsical artwork, slightly spooky but humorous at the same time.

Molina’s artwork in the exhibit is a lot like the sculptures he makes; most of them are skeletons or people who have nails for hair. There are a lot of strange elements; the mural is a combination of 2- and 3-dimensional art. There are also sculptures on the ground, suspended from the ceiling, and a house shaped like a head. Molina says he got inspiration to make the house from the idea of hiking through a forest and finding a cabin. Because a lot of his art is composed of heads, he decided to do a combination of both.

The opening of the exhibit was a weekend event hosted by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) Teen Council, a group of teenagers dedicated to helping in their community and inspiring others. Some of the members said that they enjoyed science and art a lot and joined the Council so they could be a part of something that represented those things. “This event means I can make other kids realize how important science and art are,” one of them said about the Teen Day, “and make it part of their lives, too, and make sure that they can enjoy it.”
Before the event started, the Teen Council started practicing for the hands-on workshop – an arts and crafts session where people make geometric shapes by tying straws together with wire. “The project,” Jodie Gorochow, the museum’s manager of artist and studio programs, says, “is inspired by one of Molina’s elements in ‘Past the Tangled Present.’ He was thinking about creating an environment where people can stop and pause their everyday craziness and take a moment to discover something new and inspirational.”

At the question-and-answer session, two girls from the Teen Council interviewed Molina and people in the audience also asked him a few questions. He said he has been making art professionally for about 10 years. When looking at his art, he doesn’t try to get the viewers to feel a specific way; instead he lets the viewer feel however the art makes them feel. Most of the characters that appear in his work are bearded men he calls “cuttys”, which he says are left over from work he made a long time ago. (Most of the sculptures – including the house – in the exhibit were cuttys.) Some of the other characters are half-animal, half-people, and “floaties”, people he says have very long hair and can float.

With his murals and sculptures in Argentina and the U.S., Molina’s artwork has inspired many people. He uses a very unique style in his work with a lot of abstract shapes, but people can find a way to relate to the art. In “Past the Tangled Present”, it’s very intriguing how parts of the mural stick out of the wall. The head-shaped cabin has many designs on the inside; the warm colors make it feel like the interior is being lit up.

If you ever go to the Denver Art Museum, be sure to see Molina’s exhibit!