| Art |

In "Helium Hum," Cristina Molina Charmingly Sucks Balloons and Drools Gold

At her eponymous space on one of the southernmost arteries of the gritty nabe, Nina Torres, an international arts consultant who relocated here from New York last year, continues her mission of cultivating emerging South Florida talent. During this month's gallery walk, Torres inaugurated "Helium Hum," Cristina Molina's first local solo-show featuring six short-length video works by the Florida International University (FIU) grad.

Scintillation, a video projection isolated on a large gallery wall, depicts a red lipstick-smeared gob spewing what appears to be a trickle of Goldshlager, the Swiss cinnamon schnapps that contains flakes of gold leaf. Keep reading for an excerpt of the review printed in this week's issue.

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The video from which her exhibit takes its title, Helium Hum, perfumes

the gallery air with a syrupy melody from Cinderella, the animated 1950

Disney classic.

As the lyrics "My heart has wings and I can fly/I'll touch every star in

the sky/So this is the miracle I've been dreaming of/So this is love,"

resonates across the space in a sticky sweet aural assault, a girl is

seen on the screen holding a heart-shaped balloon she releases into the

sky. It's the type of work that many spectators might dismiss for a

fizzy simplicity on the artist's part.

That's part of Molina's charm. Her works convey a notion of equal

measures of youthful longing and hedonism. But they also exude an erotic

undertow, and this work's allure is Molina's unspoken journey into an

orifice through which we all communicate our dreams, passions, fears,

and innermost secrets. What comes across loudly in her exhibit is that

Molina is a young talent worth watching whose work isn't only lovely to

look at -- it makes you feel good.

See Helium Hum at Nina Torres (2033 NW First Pl., Miami) until January 29. Admission is free. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 12 to 5 p.m. Visit ninatorresfineart.com.

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