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 Laura Molina  (1957 - )

About: Laura Molina


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: figurative painting, serigraphs, digital art, cartoon animation

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An example of work by Laura Molina
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted September 2005, is from the artist.

Laura Molina was born in East Los Angeles in 1957 and grew up in the suburbs of L.A. near Pasadena.  Her mother was born in Los Angeles and her father was born in San Diego, Texas, and they were both from farming and ranching families who were made citizens by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.  She is the Great-Grand daughter of a Confederate soldier.

She lives on the edge of the Mojave Desert, from which she draws inspiration, and maintains an intensely personal commitment as the self-proclaimed "Angriest Woman in the World".

She states: "I feel the need to assert my identity in the most militant way possible because otherwise, as an American, I am invisible.  In a culture where nothing happens until it happens on TV, I don't exist.  As an educated, native-born, English-speaking, fifth generation Mexican-American and a feminist, there is almost no reflection of me in the movies or television, which is almost as bad as being stereotyped.  My paintings make my own statement that I am true to my emotions even if they are unpleasant ones like rage and obsession which may upset the viewer and I boldly declare that my passions, needs and desires are not pathological.  I often use my own face in my paintings.  By becoming the stereotype I also break it, because as the artist I have control of the image and what it conveys to the viewer  I will use my activism and creativity to end injustice, intolerance and patriarchy at both a social and interpersonal level. I do not accept a hierarchy of genders (with men presumably at the top) because there is no justifiable basis for it and it does not serve me as a woman.  Being "The Angriest Woman in the World" is a moniker I come by honestly and I can tell you that it takes years of insults and disrespect to reach the level of rage I'm carrying around".

Although  primarily a painter, she grew up very much aware of the various media of pop culture and has explored several of them in depth.   Manifesting an early interest in music, she studied piano, woodwinds, guitar, and voice, and during the early 1980s she fronted Tiger Lily, an all-female rock band.  After graduating early from high school, she participated in the theatrical training program at the Inner City Cultural Center, Los Angeles, studying under such mentors as C. Bernard Jackson and George C. Wolfe.  She then studied Character Animation at the California Institute of the Arts in 1979-81 with a scholarship from Walt Disney Studios.  This was later followed by further study at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, in 1994 and at the American Animation Institute in North Hollywood in 1995.

In 2001 she enrolled at Antelope Valley College, expanding  her range of media still further by studying multimedia production.  Working prolifically as a scenic artist in motion pictures, television, music videos, and theme parks, Molina formed much of her aesthetic as a reaction to the images she saw perpetuated  in the popular media.  Subsequent projects have included the  Naked Dave series of paintings, two self-published comic books, Cihualyaomiquiz the Jaguar, a reaction to California's "Proposition  187," featuring an avenging Mexican-American super heroine,  and the upcoming, Legends of the Southwest, featuring a retelling of the La Llorona legend and a historical fiction about the San Patricios, immigrant Irish soldiers who deserted from  the American army and went over to the Mexican side during  the Mexican-American War in 1846.

The artist says her life and painting style was changed when she attended the June 1999 opening of " La Patria  Portatil, 100 years of Mexican Chromo Art Calendars" at  the Latino Museum of Art History and Culture in Los Angeles.

She in listed in The Great  Women Cartoonists by Trina Robbins published by Watson-Guptill in 2001.  Her biography and five of her paintings were included in Contemporary Chicano and Chicana Art published by Bilingual Review / Press in 2002.   In 2004, a documentary short film, Naked Dave, was made about her artistic obsessions by film makers Alex Schaffert and David Callaghan.

Her internet art presentation, Naked, has been written about, extensively by internet and print authors including a 36 page essay entitled; "The Cyberborderland: Searching the Web for Xicanidad" by Dora Ramirez-Dhoore in Chicana/Latina Studies, the Journal of Mujeres en Letras y Cambios Social. Fall 2005.

Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social
Volume 5, Number 1, Fall 2005
"The Cyberborderland:  Surfing the Web for Xicanidad" by Dora Ramirez-Dhoore
("Amor Alien" appears on cover of this journal)

The Comics Journal Magazine
Cover, Illustration collage, Compiled by Mary Fleener, September, 2001

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