Janis and I met Pablo and Rebecca Lara a few months ago while attending a friends party at Tom and Becky’s Restaurant located in Playas. Since then we have become good friends, attending parties and get togethers for social events.
Recently we have been following a story about Pablo’s father Hugo, who happens to be the artist working on the murals located under the highway underpasses in Guayaquil. I have seen them being worked on and was fascinated by the skill and talent of the artists who were putting tiny pieces of art together. To find out that Pablo’s father was the talent and artistic mind behind the beautiful creation was amazing. Just recently, we met the talented artist Hugo at a mothers day BBQ on a 10,000 square meter property owned by Hugo located in front of the Pacific ocean in the tiny Ecuadorian coastal city of Engabao. A brilliant and humble man who loves his family, art and his country.
“My father, Hugo Lara comes from a big family of 8 siblings. His parents and grandparents were known for being honorable entrepreneurs and hard workers. They are known musicians and artists, dreamers and creators in the Lara family history and for that, the entire family is very proud. No one in his family has ever reached as much fame as my father,” said Pablo.
Hugo started painting in 1965 when he was around 15 years old and by the early 70’s he won his first art competition that was sponsored by the biggest newspaper publication in Ecuador, the El Universo.
The theme was Guayaquil and with his winnings, he was able to afford to go study art in Spain.
Studying in art in Spain changed his whole perspective about art.
Hugo studied all the great artists at the museum Del Prado and began creating what today is known as the “Circus of Life.”
Hugo’s work has developed over half a century and what once where dark paintings with naked fat people that used to represent a “fat state” due to the government of dictator Franco in the 70’s, it is now the colorful work of these harlequins that used to represent society as a whole.
The “Circus of Life” is a play we call life, in which everyone is an actor and performs a particular role within the society in that they live at different times in their life.
This is the reason many of the spectators of his work can relate to some of the characters being depicted
Some fall, some climb, some try to keep the balance while others help others out while making the particular piece as fun and alive as possible with not only color but special characters like the king of the circus or the queen or the harlequin of good luck.
The last thing to probably mention is that Hugo Lara has lived in General Villamil Playas now for over 20 years after living abroad in big cities across Europe and the United States. You can find some of his works at the local Catholic Church in Playas with the stain glass of the fisherman’s virgins and as of this week a mural for hotel Palmetto in Playas.
With the recent completion of the big mural under his belt in Guayaquil, the Laras’ are hoping to build a monument at the entrance of Playas depicting Hugo’s style but also representing the local culture.
Proyecto Puente a Desnivel de El Circo de La vida
See more pictures of Hugo Laras’ work on the Circle of Life: Click link below