“So we’ve just ventured off the earth, into space and through the spectrum of color,” says artist Adrian Molina.
He’s just reeled through 70 yards of hand-painted scroll—past invented Asian symbols, past birds turned airplanes, past intricate cityscapes, past everything that lies beyond. It’s about 15 minutes, if you take your time.
Perpetual In-terra-action, a collection of Molina’s time-based painting and sculpture, will present an interactive commentary on conceptual science through art.
Molina’s studio is something akin to a metaphysical amusement park. A “visual poem” about Newtonian thought on gravity vis-a-vis Einstein’s theory of relativity is fastened to the wall. On the back shelf there’s a sculptural spiral made from paint, fishing line and wire—a three-dimensional take on the two-dimensional waves that illustrate light and sound. Deconstructed string instruments, Goya kidney bean cans and a host of unidentified objects fill the rest of the space.
His works reach out from the walls, begging for interaction.
Light the incense sticks in a snail’s eyes to activate an upside-down clock. Watch the race of flame against time.
“These ideas of science and philosophy are things that have been embedded in me since I was a kid, all because of my dad,” Molina explains, ashing his hand-rolled cigarette in a clamshell.
A self-taught philosopher and physicist from Miami, Molina’s father, Nestor, was forever buried in an office of thought, writing countless books on conceptual science.
“Our house was like a renaissance house,” Molina laughs. “My mom read a ton and loved history, and my dad wrote these books. We all knew how to paint and draw.”
At 28, Molina has been studying art pretty intensively for about a decade, moving through mediums, looking to find a fit. After a stint in three-dimensional Pollock-inspired dripping—which he calls “a pure aesthetic pleasure, like taking a walk through the snow and seeing branches and twigs sticking up out of the white”—he was compelled to create a narrative.
So he made a scroll, a contemporary take on an ancient technique; a primitive take on animation.
This one, he believes, is the longest painting in Boston.
“I guess panoramics are strongly embedded in me because Miami is extremely flat,” he says of the city he grew up in. “When you have a square or a rectangle painting, the only elements you have are those four sides but if you make two ends unlimited it’s nice to keep painting and not stop.”
This one took him 13 months to paint, and he does not revise. “The winters are long in Boston,” he laughs. The scroll ends with a final 10 yards of clear plastic, letting the light through.
“Perhaps, in a representational way, it’s the same as going back to the essence of something,” he says. “And then, of course, you can go back and rewind it.”