LARA PADILLA “Breaking the mesh”

Juan Silió Gallery presents for the first time at our venue in Santander, the work of Lara Padilla entitled Breaking the mesh. Formed in Fine Arts, Film Photography and Dance, she is a multidisciplinary artist who expresses herself through very different formats such as painting, sculpture, video art, performance, body action or clothing design.

Since her first interventions in the public space by painting walls and performing both in Spain and Miami, where she lives seasonally, she has developed her own fresh and fun style that is at the same time reflective, conscious and committed. Reinforced by her condition as an energetic dance lover, action art has a lot of weight in her creations, as well as a very clear vision about the ideas and values she cares about and is interested in transmitting to those who approach her work. Her characters always “stand for love, freedom and diversity”. Some of her series are dedicated to themes such as equality, consumerism, immigration, freedom of expression or the exaltation of beauty and pleasure.

Padilla’s work is articulated through three fundamental concepts that are the basis of her work, the body -always present-, movement as an essential impulse, and the representation of women, who are the main characters of most of her work as the fundamental pillar of society. It should not be forgotten that the artist sometimes uses the nickname Mrs D., a critical allusion to the tradition of replacing women’s maiden name with their husbands’ when they get married. Her expressionistic, colourful works are a clear homage to feminine strength and beauty.

Strongly influenced by artists like Basquiat and Keith Haring, she created her Tetris series. Several examples of which are shown here. They are paintings in which the drawing stands out on the base of the canvas previously worked with coloured bases or collage. The human figure becomes more schematic until it forms a network of bodies which, as in a puzzle, fit perfectly together, thus symbolising the cohesion of the group and social harmony. This motif is taken to infinite possibilities both chromatically and in terms of format, as it becomes participatory action pieces carried out in the urban environment, in which she skilfully and passionately mixes the artistic and the social criticism with the playful and didactic.

In her other series presented here, Animals of Power, one of the last of her extensive production, Lara reinterprets important paintings from History of Art such as The Birth of the Milky Way or The Three Graces by Rubens, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon or Two Women Running on the Beach by Picasso, or The Dance by Matisse. She relates these scenes to the Mesoamerican tradition of the nahuales, supernatural beings with the ability to turn into animals (theriomorphism). According to this tradition, which is linked to other similar traditions dating back to antiquity and throughout the world, every human being has a power animal that protects him and provides him with energy and wisdom. The characters in the aforementioned paintings thus become their animal avatars in a dynamic attitude celebrating life and the connection with the whole.

Finally, the exhibition is completed by a group of works entitled Shunga. This is a work related to the worrying censorship drift executed by algorithms in social networks -of which the artist herself has been a victim-. These pieces, in which drawing predominates, talk about eroticism, linking it to a genre of Japanese prints (shunga) that have sex as their main motif. A statement of intent about taboo subjects and the growing censorship of today’s world, which may well explain the title chosen for the exhibition Breaking the Mesh, breaking free!



April 22nd – June 24th, 2023


Galería Juan Silió
C/ Sol 45, bajo. 39003 Santander.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday,
10:30AM – 1:30PM
6PM – 9PM