Jeffly Gabriela Molina - Aminas Benditas, Ruegas Por Nosotros, Oil on Linen, 44”x44”x2”, 2022

The Weather Station is pleased to present Fragments of Imaginary Home, an exhibition of recent paintings by Jeffly Gabriela Molina. Imaginary Home brings together a selection of Molina’s recent oil paintings, many of which make use of the still life format to create personal, symbolic images that relate to the artist's search for home and experience of family and work in the U.S.

Fragments of Imaginary Home primarily features a group of single-object still life paintings, many of which the artist has curiously titled Homemade Sculptures. In these paintings, flowers appear as bouquets and in pairs, staged upon an anonymous neutral background; a cup of water, exquisitely painted and dramatically enlarged, rests upon a plate reflecting a blue patch of sky. Molina refers to these still life arrangements as sculptures, which she defines as objects “embedded with meaning, made with intention, and moving beyond themselves.” These small sculptures are made by Molina in both her Chicago home and studio, a means to record and describe her interior life. For Molina, the arrangements, colors, or number of flowers in each homemade sculpture carries specific personal resonances: two horizontal yellow flowers speak to the rest that follows a period of intense labor, and a jar of red roses represents not only romance, but life’s sense of the urgent. In painting these ephemeral arrangements, Molina permanently extends their life.

Jeffly Gabriela Molina - Painting of a Homemade Sculpture No. 3, Oil on Linen, 16”x16”x2”, 2022

Aminas Benditas, Ruegas Por Nosotros speaks directly to the artist’s memories, when in her childhood homes, her grandmother and mother would place a glass of water on a ceramic dish for the souls in purgatory to drink. This religious custom was a gesture of gratitude, and a means of prayer for those in distress. “An object composed, and on display,” the artist says of this ritual, “what is a sculpture if not that?” For Molina, her homemade sculptures render her experience of creating a home after many years of searching for and imagining one. Born in Venezuela, Molina and her family moved many times during her childhood, with Molina attending 12 schools before ultimately finding herself in Chicago, where she is currently based. Small gestures like setting a vase, folding the clothes, offering the souls a glass of water, were a means to create continuity wherever they found themselves.

Jeffly Gabriela Molina - Self-Portrait as a Clown, Oil on Linen, 22”x17”x2”, 2022

In many ways, Jeffly Gabriela Molina is a painter working within traditional genres: in her practice she has created history paintings, interiors, portraits, and still lives. In each, she brings her exquisite technical skill alongside a great sense of restraint, carefully considering every aspect of every painting. Viewed together, the quiet dramas of Molina’s Homemade Sculptures series begin to feel like theater, and the artist’s careful arrangements like actors performing on stage- a stage representing imagined, idealized or remembered homes. “Every body of work conveys some form of truth,” Molina says, describing her process of working in series, “you start understanding beauty in a different way.”

Jeffly Gabriela Molina is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist from Táchira, Venezuela. She moved to the US in 2007 and lived in Miami for four years, where she attended the New World School of the Arts. In 2011, Molina transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she graduated with a BFA in 2013 and an MFA in 2016. In addition to participating in multiple group and solo exhibitions, she has undertaken three permanent public sculpture commissions in Miami. Recent solo exhibitions include De Madeira y Aire at Galeria Enrique Guerrero in Mexico City and Suspiro at Kavi Gupta in Chicago.  She has been awarded an Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Driehaus Museum, the AAF/Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts, a Carol Becker’s Dean Grant, and a John W. Kurtich scholarship.