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Memorials, a Celebration of the Art of Rodrigo Lara

By Kahren Jones Arbitman

As Rodrigo Lara’s artistic reputation continues to rise in the US, his heart still lies somewhere between Querétaro, where he was born, and San Miguel de Allende, where his native talent was nurtured. That helps to explain why Lara chose San Miguel to launch a major publication about his recent work. On Saturday, January 20, from 6-8pm at the Bellas Artes, the public is invited to celebrate Memorials: Rodrigo Lara, an impressive catalogue that captures in words and images the full range of Lara’s talents. Focusing on his sculpture from the last seven years, its bilingual essays by renowned museum directors, curators, and art critics detail Lara’s transformation from graduate student at the famous School of the Art Institute of Chicago to acclaimed sculptor.

Book Launch
By Rodrigo Lara
Sat, Jan 20, 6‒8pm
Bellas Artes, second floor
Free to the public

Mexican art critics and connoisseurs recognized Lara’s talents long before their US counterparts. In 2010, while still in his twenties, Lara was given large museum retrospectives in Toluca and Querétaro, the same year he was awarded first prize in the national sculpture contest honoring the country’s bicentennial. Governmental support of its rising star continued through his artistic training in the US. Lara is quick to recognize his debt to his country, both nationally and locally. He credits his time as a young art student at the Instituto Allende for cementing his desire to become a professional artist. Lara readily acknowledges the extraordinary teaching he received from the late Ignacio (“Nacho”) Maldonado, who was his professor at the school. As Lara explains, “Nacho taught me to look at the world through an artist’s lens. He insisted that I put my fear of failure aside and go for it. I will always be profoundly grateful to him.”

Despite his recent success in the US, including selling every work from two Chicago exhibitions, Lara seldom strays from his Mexican roots. References to his beloved country course through his work, including obvious references to political and social unrest. While Lara’s subjects can be poignant and even difficult, what soars above every “story line” is his innate artistic talent. By deftly molding clay, Lara can capture facial expressions from abject terror to celestial bliss. His human forms reveal every muscle and sinew.

The book launch will include short bilingual presentations about Lara’s work by art historian Kahren Jones Arbitman, artist Ana Quiroz, and Calygramma director Federico de la Vega. Please come, raise a glass of wine, and celebrate the achievements of one of the area’s brightest stars: Rodrigo Lara.



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