Yvette Molina: Big Bang Votive

Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Gallery
October 3, 2020–January 18, 2021
installation shot of Big Bang Votive

Artist Yvette Molina believes that when we share stories of love or delight, we enrich and heal the world. She explores this idea in Big Bang Votive—a collaborative storytelling project that will evolve over fifteen weeks, utilizing the Eisenberg Gallery as an exhibition space, an artist studio, and a place for social interaction.

To begin the project Molina covered the walls with nearly three hundred paintings of starry skies, some incorporating cosmic phenomena such as galaxies, supernovas, nebulas and black holes. On various panels Molina has painted a single object floating against this cosmic background. These are votive symbols of delight or love taken from stories she has gathered from the public. The installation also includes a work table with the artist’s painting materials, a rug, comfortable chairs, and a “story catcher”—a nine-foot square of silk painted in deep indigo and scattered with stars. Visitors who observe Molina painting in the gallery will learn about her use of egg tempera—an ancient but enduring medium made from egg yolk and raw pigment.

Molina will be doing interviews throughout the course of the exhibition, where participants will share a personal story that sparks delight or inspires love. They will then choose an object to represent their story and Molina renders that image in egg tempera onto an existing “cosmos” panel from the installation. Once completed, the painting is returned to the wall as a votive offering that increases joy and love. Over the course of the show, a constellation of human experiences and connections will develop as votives are added weekly to the exhibition. Not all the panels will have painted symbols. Molina reserves some as a cosmic backdrop, reflecting the limitless capacity of the universe to accept all of our stories.

Yvette Molina: Big Bang Votive is funded in part by Patricia A. Bell.