Before co-starring in Univision’s smash-hit news-entertainment show El Gordo y La Flaca opposite Lili Estefan, Raúl De Molina had years under his belt as a professional photographer. He covered the drug-ridden ’80s Miami Vice era and became a well known paparazzo. It should come as no surprise, then, that photography is at the heart of Raúl and Mily De Molina’s significant art collection.
The couple recently packed up their beloved, longtime home in Key Biscayne for a 37th floor condominium at Brickell City Centre, which they share with their teenage daughter, Mia. What they may have given up in quietude, they made up for in sweeping views and a dynamic city life.
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“I can find everything I may want or need within walking distance,” Raúl De Molina said, “a box of chocolates, a movie, dinner.”
Art Abounds in Raúl De Molina’s Brickell Condo
Of course, they took their contemporary art with them, and it immediately surrounds you as you enter their new home.
Beijing artist Wang Qingsong, a De Molina favorite, shares wall space with one of Valérie Belin’s flower portraits; next to a Clint Eastwood portrait by Martin Schoeller are, a striking piece by South African Pieter Hugo — part of his The Hyena & Other Men series — and a monumental Havana cityscape by Miami-based Gustavo Acosta.
For the first time in 16 years, the De Molinas’ unofficial Art Basel kickoff party, like them, will have a new home. The invitation-only affair, always hosted in their abode the Monday before Basel, brings an A-list crowd that the couple describe as mostly “c”s: critics, collectors, celebrities, colleagues — and friends.
The Life of the Party
The tradition began in 2002 as a get-together to celebrate Mexico-based Cuban art dealer Nina Menocal, a friend of the De Molinas who was exhibiting at the first Art Basel.
As the party has grown into one of the most buzzed-about events of the year, so has the planning. Evites went out several weeks. Mena Catering, which has fed the De Molinas’ guests since the first year, locked in a luxurious menu.
After the party, Raúl De Molina likely will be playing The Girl from Ipanema while reflecting on his family and friends and looking forward to El Gordo y La Flaca’s 20th anniversary in September. Of course, the new year also will bring more art, food and wine, and far-flung adventures.
Said De Molina: “Traveling and eating are my relaxations.”