Florencio Molina Campos

arteBA ’06 Special Edition – May 2006. Artworks by Molina Campos at Marcos Bledel Gallery.

Florencio Molina Campos (Buenos Aires, 1891- 1959), is one of the most interesting examples of popular painting that was left on the sidelines of Argentine art history due to the choice of a genre considered less important: graphic humor. Molina Campos paints the features of the countrymen in detail, their gestures and clothing, in a time when these human beings had already been transformed by the shifts of progress. He translates the orality of these characters with the choice of a specific language, caricature, which accentuates and exaggerates expressions, perceives the peculiar and highlights it. Everything is seen through the lens of humor, but not in a mocking satire; with an affectionate hilarity in an atmosphere of smiling cordiality instead. The massive usage of the calendar, hung in all the houses of the workers and in the ranches of the bosses, created a unique iconography of the gaucho, very different from the archetype of the Argentine countryside that was used as an emblem of the triumphant nationality. Molina Campos was a self-taught artist. He had his first individual exhibition in 1926 at the Central Pavilion of the Argentine Rural Society. He made the Almanacs for Alpargatas from 1931 to 1945. They show gaucho scenes made in gouache. He traveled to the United States in 1937 with a scholarship from the National Commission of Culture. In 1942 he advised Walt Disney.