We’re always excited to find a collector with an interesting outlook, and Raul de Molina certainly fits the bill. When he’s not winning Emmys for hosting the most popular show on Univision, being named one of People’s most influential Hispanics, publishing books about food, or entertaining his million+ Twitter followers, de Molina finds time for art, his other great passion. We had the chance to chat with the Miami native about his involvement with the art world and the origins of his global art collection—which, fittingly, he started amassing as a young professional photographer himself.
Artsy: We know you used to be a professional photographer for some major publications. Can you tell us a bit about the work you did?
Raul de Molina: I began my career as a photographer when I was in high school, as the yearbook photographer. I studied art and photography at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and became a freelancer for the Associated Press. Initially I covered sports and then moved on to news. I freelanced for Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report and USA Today. I covered the invasion of Panama extensively as well as all the coups in Haiti. Then Miami Vice came to town and I became a celebrity photographer. From that moment on my pictures were published in all over the world.
What’s your favorite photograph that you ever took and why?
Princess Diana on holiday in Necker Island in the Caribbean. The picture was shot with 800mm lens. Extremely sharp, she had a beautiful smile on her face—the way I remember Princess Diana. [Note: He was kind enough to share the image with us!]
How does your background as a photographer influence your current work on TV?
When they are shooting a feature about me, I have an idea of how I want it to come across and how it’s going to look afterwards.
Can you tell us a bit about your involvement with the art world?
I have been collecting art since I was about 17 years old. My wife [Milly] and I are on the host committee for Art Basel Miami Beach, and my art collection now includes pieces from all over the world.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
We’ve heard you have a fascinating art collection. Can you tell us about it?
I began collecting young emerging Cuban artists. Then as we travelled around the world we collected artist from South Africa, Australia, China, India, and the Middle East. Recently I have began focusing on photography, which is my passion. It is an eclectic collection. I usually buy what I like and have a connection to.
What advice do you have for aspiring collectors?
Buy what you like, what you can relate to.
What’s your favorite museum and why?
My favorite museum is the Guggenheim in Bilbao. I think it is the perfect size with incredible architecture, collections, and exhibits. I also like the MoMA because it is always evolving and it has great energy.
What role do you think technology can play in the art world?
I think is it already playing a role in photography and the graphic arts. I have a friend who has done some incredible photos with his iPhone.
We know that you keep very busy. Are there any projects you’re working on at the moment that we should know about?
The digital version of my diet book La Dieta Del Gordo was recently release and I’m currently working on two other books about travel and restaurants with Random House Mexico. I’m also working on a project to co-produce a movie on the life of Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa.
Photos courtesy Raul de Molina.