Carlos Molina: Photography as Expression

Carlos Molina is a Chilean photographer and graphic designer who works both independently and for the music media group Super 45. This affords him the chance to shoot at various shows throughout Santiago, including Lollapalooza, and to develop personal photographic series. I discovered Carlos' work at a small analog photo exhibition called MuFa (Muestra Fotográfica Análoga) in Providencia, located in the subterranean section of the Galería Drugstore.

From Los Hombres Sensatos (photo by Carlos Molina)
From Los Hombres Sensatos (photo by Carlos Molina)

Although many photographers were exhibited that night, I was particularly drawn to Carlos' work. The series, Los Hombres Sensatos (The Wise Men) featured artesans in their workshops. There was a subtlety and beauty captured in the photos of these men, the color and contrast highlighting an air of modest knowledge among them.

Arcade Fire's Win Bulter (photo by Carlos Molina)
Arcade Fire's Win Bulter (photo by Carlos Molina)

Carlos Molina's interest in photography began when he was a young boy playing with his uncle's analog camera. When he turned 15, his father gave him his first camera. As Carlos explains, the camera "helped [him] overcome some of the typical existential problems of youth." However, he decided not to study photography, instead opting for graphic design. According to Carlos, he preferred to learn through the trial-and-error act of capturing photos himself. This process helped him to develop a distinctive and personal style.

From Los Hombres Sensatos (photo by Carlos Molina)
From Los Hombres Sensatos (photo by Carlos Molina)

With each series, Carlos attempts to transmit certain emotions through his photography. The type of camera and film used is critical for capturing the correct shades, colors, textures and focus. Each shoot, whether a portrait or at a concert, requires distinctly different equipment. Carlos' personal favorite is the Nixon FM10 with a 50mm 1.8 lens.

For Carlos, photography is both a way to explore himself and to convey a message to his audience. "The art allows me to explore my mental states," he says. Photography lets him delve deep into himself and reveal echoes of his personality.

Mac Demarco at Ex Oz (photo by Carlos Molina)
Mac Demarco at Ex Oz (photo by Carlos Molina)

This duality is captured in the series Los Hombres Sensatos, which was influenced by the writing of J.D. Salinger and the Beat Movement. The series relates Carlos' feelings towards the artesans, who are content with perfecting their craft instead of pursuing fame and wealth. He describes these masters as leaders who teach through their austere lifestyle. The series is both a social critique of materialism and an exploration of perspective.

The work of Molina demonstrates the myriad functions that art can serve. His work can be viewed not only as a nostalgic reflection of his life, but also as a future roadmap as he continues to grow and evolve.

You can check out more of Carlos' work on his website and instagram.

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