It is understood that a successful actor must be someone who utilizes their inventiveness and aptitude to demonstrate to an audience something more than just academic performance. In other words, a winning actor becomes a true artist when they inhabit a character’s role, rather than just imitating movements and feelings. Moreover, a brilliant actor brings to the camera and eventually the silver screen a variety of innate gifts, including confidence, intelligence, imagination, energy, creative insight, and an ability to transform a character into an appealing and enchanting persona for the crowd. Coincidently, these also are qualities that a successful painter must incorporate within his canvas.
According to history, in 534 BC Thespis astounded people by leaping into the back of a wooden cart and reciting poetry as if he was one of the characters whose lines he was reading. In doing so he became the world’s first actor, and it is from him that we get the word thespian. Centuries later, acting is a pursuit in which a screenplay comes to life through a sophisticated enactment by an actor/actress who portrays a distinct character through dramatic skills that are convincing, compelling, and hopefully memorable.
The crossover from actor to painter or vice versa is not particularly unusual. Both disciplines require extreme invention and inherent creativity. The term Renaissance Man was applied to artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, who had a multitude of talents and was considered the greatest painter in history, but also as a sculptor, architect, writer, and inventor.
Jordi Molla has become a candidate for a neo-renaissance man as an award-winning actor who has a wide range of skills, including an obvious flair for a supporting role, integrating his acting experiences as a storyteller onto a technicolor canvas that provides the viewer with a delightful narrative, combining painterly gestures that connect nature and a surrealist composition that sets its own stage, but this time for gallery spectators.
Molla follows a tradition of successful actors who also take their love of painting to a professional level. For example, Johnny Depp, co-star with Jordi in the memorable film “Blow,” is an accomplished painter. Dennis Hopper was a true renaissance man as a painter, photographer, writer, and actor.
These examples of “crossover” talents are not entirely unusual, as traditionally, actors, like painters, quite often have a broad selection of creative interests. This list is impressive and surprising, as many actors keep their painting proficiency and activities private. But not all. Other actors who have demonstrated invention and innovation in fine arts include Sylvester Stallone, Jim Carrey, James Franco, Jane Seymour, and Anthony Hopkins, among others.
So, it was meant to be that Jordi Molla would cross paths in Palm Beach with the respected art dealer Paul Fisher (Stallone also has visited his eponymous gallery), who is known for developing artists’ careers with lively exhibitions, publications, and museum shows. Jordi visited Palm Beach for the first time, staying at the fabled Brazilian Court hotel. He was impressed with the high degree of contemporary art on view and sought out Fisher, who is the curator and director of exhibitions at the hotel’s celebrated gallery.
After getting acquainted and discovering much in common (and not knowing Jordi also was an actor), Fisher curated a solo exhibition of new works by Molla in his main location in West Palm Beach, which was an impressive success. Fisher also presented a VIP reception at the Brazilian Court and another at the famous Café Boulud showcasing Jordi’s new paintings. Later, Molla’s large-scale paintings drew an enthusiastic response on Worth Avenue in a window display at Galerie Danieli that shared space with Dali and Rodin bronze sculptures.
Jordi’s paintings generate excitement through his method of channeling passion and paint application where deposits of narrative subject matter are discovered as the plot thickens, and offer subtle visual messages derived from a paint-covered palette. Molla seems to have an intuitive ability, like his acting, to infuse his work with zest as a communicative expert storyteller. In one example, he delivers an image accented with confident textural combinations, romantic color harmony, and techniques that encompass abstract imagery, nature, and urban graffiti accented with powerful interpretations of a simple sunflower basking in a sunny garden of delights. In his “Savage Flower Series,” the artist constructs a complicated multi-tiered surface that can be reminiscent of marks developed by abstract expressionists, color field experimenters, Plein-air painters, and landscapers. In this series, Molla cleverly has merged the first layer of a printed tarp-like material, which exposes bits and pieces of printed twigs and branches that are carefully camouflaged together with over-painting for a singular illusionistic appearance.
Fisher’s lifetime experiences working with famous artists such as Dale Chihuly and Hunt Slonem, and renowned critics and curators, including Henry Geldzahler and Anthony Haden-Guest, whose creative professionalism was a dynamic influence on the young art dealer, helped him recognize the distinct qualities of Jordi’s work and the obvious infusion of a multi-layered theatrical performance.
Soon it became obvious that Jordi Molla would be an ideal candidate for a successful series of NFTs, which in some way could emulate a theatrical experience. So, harking back to Shakespearian theatre and the tradition of actors wearing masks in live theatre and in movies, Jordi allied with a perfect collaborator in this brave new media that has a built-in narrative chockful of symbols, drama, stage presence, movement, and sound. All these devices are important resources in the theatre and have been artfully reconnected to a new NFT series.
As luck would have it, Fisher discovered a remarkable opportunity to work with Krew Studios and Josh McLean to partner up in the NFT world to develop something completely unique. Josh is a pioneer in the business end of NFTs, where he has invested millions of dollars of his own resources acquiring NFTs, and he recognized a winning combination right away with a plan to produce a cinematic level NFT artwork of 100 painted masks by Jordi, which are then scanned into moving 3D images and generate 10,000 digital versions. The rest is history!
For more about the artist: jordimolla.art
Bruce Helander is an artist who writes on art. He is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, as well as collage illustrations for The New Yorker. He is a member of the Florida Artists Hall of Fame and is a former White House Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Jordi Molla: Paintings that generate excitement and passion