• Leticia Miranda Meyer, “Manina Lara” -‐ Vanidades Magazine, August 2014, p. 20 -‐ 23, La Paz--Bolivia.
“Having barely turned sixteen, the painter Manina Lara, a native from La Paz, received the Gold Medal awarded by the “10 th Annual Youth & Children’s Art Expo” held in the Republic of China. She earned the award in a contest over 30,000 other participants from around the world. Since then, Manina has redirected her life and has made herself a constant in the narrow world of the plastic arts until
the present. She is free, and reflects this freedom on her canvas, where she
combines her life experience using a variety of techniques, using oil, ink, pencil,
collage and engraving; which are generally mixed with one another as a reflection
of life and its constant movement.
“I have been lucky, not only to have been born in such a diverse country as Bolivia,
but also for having travelled and known many other countries and cultures. Thanks
to this, I have been able to prove that beyond cultural and idiomatic differences,
we wind up being very much alike; we are, ultimately, mankind, and that is
something, I believe, that we should think about more often. It’s becoming more
urgent each day”, she tells us.
Over the last six years, Manina has lived in Munich, the historical capital of
Germany, where she showcases her work – her last exposition was composed of
engravings, and was held in November 2012. Living there, her horizons have
broadened, be it as a result of the new language, or due to the great cultural
movement that emanates from one of the most populated capitals in Germany.
Her art is reflexive, and deals with the subject matter of the great family that
constitutes mankind, where she explains the experiences she has lived based on
her art and her family life. In August, the painter will arrive in Bolivia to present
this same subject matter.
“We are all in this together, and this is the only place we have to live in” she says,
and adds, “during these last few years, my paintings have started to become more
populated, my family enriches my life, and there is plenty of movement in daily
life. As years go by, new elements have been added into my work. I think that one
thing gets added onto another”.
From her years back in Bolivia, she was inspired and marvelled by Andean textiles.
The hands that weave these looms transmit a very particular vision of the world, as
well as the paintings that we can appreciate in her exhibition.”
Mario Ríos Gastelú, “Manina Lara”, “Creadores de luz, espacio y forma”, edited by
“Taipinquiri Centro de Cultura, Arquitectura y Arte”, 1998, p. 77 -‐ La Paz, Bolivia.
“The work that Manina Lara carries out before the virginity of a defying canvas, is
not just a mere chromatic transformation of her ideas, but a constant search for
the final work through a firm decision that the painting has been worked on
enough so that it speaks for itself.
Tidiness and professionalism. Manina lights that fire in her mind that transforms,
eternally, to make way for the deepness of the shadows. The human being is
present in her work, in its eternal mystery. “
Armando Soriano Badani, introduction for the catalog of Manina’s solo exhibit
“Entre el furor y la calma” -‐ April, 1997.
“The professional firmness of her restless brush, well-‐disposed for the exploitation
of subjects and polychromatic nuances, is projected by a constant figurative
inclination of original edgings.
Manina Lara, a natural sensitivity, with academic formation in the plastic arts, has
given a fortunate sample of her skills in different individual and group exhibitions.
The figurative tendency of her painting does not suggest the submissive imitation
of the model with realistic criteria, which implies a scrupulous formal refinement.
Manina Lara does not pretend to make a true representation of reality, but rather,
an interpretative mimesis, manifested through her own personal and expressive
A post-‐impressionistic insinuation illuminates her compositions, with a
conscientious treatment of color where pigments reveal the subtlety of her
coloring, harmonized in the thematic intention of the composition. Hence, in the
background of the painting, where the leading figure is prominent, one can
distinguish the fortunate combination of color, simulating the degree of
illumination, appropriate for the preconceived atmosphere of the work of art.
Human figures, with suitable morphological rhythm, translate the impulse of the
thematic proposition, showing gentleness, meditation, happiness and other
moods, in a competent and correct expression of the defined symbolic content of
Light wanders radiantly through wide spaces that welcome the figure, livening up
the composition with pleasant lyricism.
Oil, the favorite medium for Manina’s conceptions, settles down on the canvas,
with subtle brushstrokes, which do not leave a notorious trace of impasto. Her
paintings have captivating transparency and clarity.
Her painting explores the intrinsic and autonomous chromatic value of colors, and
therefore, the uniqueness of a color plays its own expressive function within the
There are circumstantial glimpses of a shy fauvism through the presence of
illuminated colors which do not conform to a defined style the art school pretends
to follow, but rather, an appropriate resource which gives a breath of vivid
expression to the transparency of the painting, in order to promote the emotional
effect of the aesthetic message.
Manina Lara is a fresh and renewed inspiration who grants her work the accent of
her sensitive willingness to capture the intensity and intimacy of life. “
Pedro Querejazu, catalog introduction for the solo exhibit “Soliloquios de Manina
Lara”, November 1994, La Paz – Bolivia.
“Her name is not unknown because, being the owner of an early artistic vocation,
she had already obtained numerous awards while still a teenager. After long years
of studying drawing and painting, she gave way to her professional artistic career.
Her insistent and lengthy learning process is manifested in a good management of
the pictorial subject matter and color. Her works have a good structure and
Of a somewhat retracted nature but a lively spirit, Manina develops in her art an
intimate subject matter showing a particular world whose domain lies in the
interior of its chambers, where the light that filters through the windows acquires
a chromatic as well as a symbolic value; the luminous exterior universe that enters
closed worlds and fills them with color and optimism, making evident the
unsuspected experiential richness of these reduced spaces, in which solitary
characters pierce, in soliloquies, the most profound mysteries of their beings.”
María Elisa Martinic, “Arte que va de la mano: 4 artistas”, La Razón, June 1993, La
Paz – Bolivia.
“Manina Lara ́s work reminds us of García Márquez’ finished fantasy: “we did not
have to force the front door as we had thought, for the main door seemed to open
at the sole impulse of a voice...” and we saw open spaces, walls and doors, friends
looking outside the window, light and color. The paintings are executed in dark
tones, intense colors, well-‐distributed light and shade effects, a bit of poetry and a
bit of mystery. Her work has solidity and aesthetical quality, it has conviction.
Some time ago, in an interview with the famous Bolivian painter Alfredo La Placa,
he told me that “if an art piece has what the Spaniards call a “goblin”, or soul, then
the piece has been well executed”. Drawing from this concept, we see that
Manina’s art has that “goblin”; it transmits something similar to imperturbability,
to the sensation that nothing is missing, and that there is, however, something still
left to discover. It reminds me of and old phrase that says: ‘I fear that somebody
may dream of this room and move my things around’. “