Jonathan Molina-Garcia

Jonathan Molina-Garcia is a Salvadoran-American multimedia artist with a tenuous relationship to photography.

His projects are committed to radical experiments in loving and sharing, and consider the emotional text of images; or, how feelings of longing, community, and home are rendered and organized by our interaction with pictures. Collage has been a consistent through-line. He remains a research-based, technophilic mestizo.

He holds an MFA degree in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and graduated with a BFA in Photography and a BA in Art History from the University of North Texas. 

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My practice bears a fundamental relationship with photography. Over the years, it has been my most consistent medium, and I don’t make very much that doesn’t involve taking pictures in one form or another. Much of my work, however, manifests the liberties I take with images: how I manipulate, cut, and undo them. The literal act of stitching is one immediate through-line in my projects, formally expressed as collage and photomontage.

I am strongly against photographic discourse that pits analog vs. digital methodologies; instead, I take the position of an artist looking at various iterations of the human-camera relationship, and the relentless need to self-represent and represent others through mechanical media. The entire imaging apparatus - which now includes drones, GoPros, virtual reality tech, etc.- is my main object of study.

Specifically - I consider the cultural and political implications of how such an apparatus is to be used by third-world, hyphenated subjectivities. The ability to determine how advanced technologies can offer pleasure, freedom, and survival to disenfranchised groups is of utmost importance to me, and it singularly drives my need to acquire new knowledge and working practices.

It follows, then, that my projects inevitably address my personhood. My identity as a queer Salvadoran immigrant – along with the attendant political realities it has engendered - has made lasting contributions to my work, and it continues to direct the social engagement of my practice. Questions about for whom and with whom I make art are critical components in my creative research.

EDUCATION

2016 MFA, Photography and Media, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California

2014 BFA, Photography, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (Summa Cum Laude)

2014 BA, Art History, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (Summa Cum Laude)

SELECTED GROUP/SOLO EXHIBITIONS and SCREENINGS

2019 The Bethesda Brotherhood; solo exhibition. Lawndale Art Center; Houston, Texas. (forthcoming)
2018 In Sickness; two-person show curated by Benjamin Terry. Texas Woman’s University; Denton, Texas.
2018 Transmission Reentry; curated by Giovanni Valderas. SP/N Gallery, University of Texas at Dallas; Richardson, Texas.
2016 Queer Cut-Ups; curated by David Frantz, Lucas Hilderbrand, and Kayleigh Perkov Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; New York, New York.
2016 Exit Interview, CalArts Graduate Group Exhibition, Human Resources; Los Angeles, California.
2016 Cock, Paper, Scissors; curated by David Frantz, Lucas Hilderbrand, and Kayleigh Perkov (juried group show), Plummer Park, ONE Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
2016 BETHESDA; MFA Thesis Exhibition (solo), A402 & BB5-13, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California.
2015 COM-MUTINY; curated by Matthew Lax, Jonathan Molina-Garcia, Aubree Lynn (group), (Institution wide) California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California.
2014 The Bethesda Brotherhood; MFA Mid-residency Exhibtion (solo); Lime Gallery, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California.
2014 Utopia Now; a film/video community forum by the Queer Artist Community (screening), Bijou Theatre, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California.
2014 Artspace 111 Regional Juried Exhibition (group show), Artspace 111, Fort Worth, Texas.
2014 POP EXPLOSION: the Artist and Popular Culture (juried group), Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley, Pennsylvania.
2013 New Works: Photographs by Jonathan A. Molina Garcia (solo), Cora Stafford Gallery, Denton, Texas.

AWARDS AND HONORS

2017 Art Tooth : Mind-The-Gap development grant
2014-2016 CalArts Scholarship and Grant, California Institute of the Arts.
2014 Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Art Award, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
2014 Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Studio Art Award College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas.
2014 Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Art History Award College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas.
2014 Conference Travel Grant, College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas.
2013 University Scholar’s Day Arts and Humanities Outstanding Paper, University of North Texas.
2013 Creative Project Grant, College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas.
2013 Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund Award, Award to Artists, Dallas Museum of Art.
2013 Student Travel Scholarship, Society for Photographic Education (SPE).
2009 Art Has Heart’ Scholarship, Amado and JB Peña Art Has Heart Foundation.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Forthcoming “Forever Young: Intergenerational Pedagogies and Sex Aesthetics in Jonathan Molina-Garcia’s The Bethesda Brotherhood,” Richard T. Rodriguez, PhD.
2018 “How a New Generation of Artists Tackles the Realities of HIV/AIDS,” Benoit Loiseau, THEM.us online journal. https://www.them.us/story/artists-tackle-hiv-aids-...
2017 “Obreros: Jonathan Molina-Garcia,” Deep Red Press, online interview. https://www.deepredpress.com/blog/2017/5/26/roofer...
2106 Jonathan Molina-Garcia and Enrique Castrejon, “Keeping all the Messiness Together: Enrique Castrejon and Jonathan Molina-Garcia in Conversation,” Cock Paper Scissors. Exhibition Catalogue.
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