I love to layer images, patterns, and texts to reshape familiar narratives about women.
––Cabell Molina, Painter
California-born artist, Cabell Molina, boldly and fashionably collages re-appropriated images reminiscent of mid-century femininity. Her creative process, “to deconstruct and construct”, involves assembling clippings of vintage fashion and lifestyle magazines, graphics, and found elements, along with hand-painted paper portraits and figures. Her work is as layered thematically as it is physically, both celebrating the bygone glamour of mid-century fashion and deconstructing its patriarchal underpinnings. Molina reclaims classic femininity as multi-faceted, giving voice and texture to lost, flat imagery. Molina’s large scale pieces tug in a way only the past can, while also pushing for colorful expansion of a “woman’s place”.
Molina was raised by a traditional mother of the 1950’s. She grew up to develop a fascination with female representation, perplexed at how women in vintage ads could appear so happy while cornered into domesticity. Years later, she found herself trapped in a controlling marriage. After it ended, six years ago, Molina began creating work that empowers women. Her works read as meditations on feminism, full of colorful clutter and layered sense of time, space, and memory. Molina studied graphic design, art direction and fine art at San Diego State University and at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Her current work is largely informed by her background in advertising. She uses her skills in branding and photo manipulation––but her goal now is to sell perspective rather than product.
Molina’s work pushes the viewer to dive into the layers and emerge with a newfound appreciation of femininity, to notice the revolution behind the submissive smile. Her work is exhibited frequently and owned internationally. Recent works have been featured in CNN Style, New York Times The Cut and Vogue.