The women in David de Lara’s artwork are all glamourous. They have curves, an air of mystery and are undeniably sexy.
“Years ago, someone once said that I create dolls,” de Lara said.
And it’s an accurate description. These doll-like women are the central theme in much of his work, including his latest exhibit, “Tender Dissonance,” which will be on display at the nonprofit art gallery La Peña through Aug. 28.
De Lara’s artistic background started at a young age when he began drawing and illustrating. He eventually received his B.F.A. from Texas A&M – Kingsville in 2003 and moved to Austin soon after.
“When I was younger, there were always comic books, animation and, later on as a teenager, photography, fashion, glamour type photography—you can see the merging of that,” de Lara says about his work now.
“Tender Dissonance” is a collection of these media that de Lara created over the years. His most recent work using photography, painting and digital manipulation have provided a new artistic outlet.
“I’m always wanting to challenge myself and try new things out,” he said.
As for his interest in using the female figure as the subject of work, he said it is something he gathered from classical influences, as women have always been a popular theme.
“It’s something that has always appealed to me and I just developed a style throughout the years from a variety of influences,” he said. “Luckily, I’ve been able to create a style of work that people recognize immediately, just the way I create the figures and the faces.”
De Lara describes his work as having gothic undertones. He says it’s never been intentional, but is a style that evolved as he continued to create art.
“I mostly use blacks, whites, reds and blues. The reds and blues make purples and pinks,” he said. “Very rarely will you see oranges or yellows.”
While de Lara has a distinct and focused style, he says there are little subtleties and symbolism throughout his work. However, he likes his dolls to keep their mystery when it comes to how they are perceived by the public.
“I never blatantly say what each piece is about. I like to leave it up to the viewer.”