The oeuvres of Padron set a more serious and whimsical visage. A half-human, half-serpent skeletal figure faces-off an angelic being. In the compositions, however, the tacks of the two forces differ as they resemble different aspects of the carnal man: pride, lust, envy, wrath, sloth, gluttony, vanity and greed. For instance, in “Pride”, the demon emerged stronger from the angel’s body who looks exhausted and defeated. “Gluttony”, on the other hand, portrays an obese angel comfortably lying at the bottom with the demon gloating. All the artworks in metal and polymer resin on wooden base, portray the two forces inside a circle which symbolizes an eternal co-existence of good and evil.
Padron’s oeuvres presents karma—a Hindu and Buddhist belief about cause and effect in one’s action, also reflected in the Bible in Galatians 6 verses 7 to 8: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Karma is based on the belief that all actions have effects, some contiguous, some postponed, others in future incarnations. Thus, we bear responsibility for all our thoughts and actions, and cannot escape the consequences. If they are evil, the result is depravity attracting more depravity until the ultimate penalty—eternal damnation. On the other hand, if our thoughts and actions are good, they will strengthen the propensity for more virtues like love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control–adding up and growing until a person receives the promise of the saying, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting (1 Corinthians 15: 55)?”
We might be surprised that even heroes of faith like Saint Paul had struggled with an inner conflict. He said, “because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me (2 Corinthians 12: 7).” After he pleaded with the Lord to take it away, the answer was: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12: 9).” Saint Paul’s thorn in the flesh could be a stark weakness; if he had it and still overcame, it encourages people who have similar predicaments to finish the journey.
The artworks also remind about evil in the world which causes some to abandon their faith. People cannot understand why a loving and omnipotent God would allow evil to exist; because of this, they blame the Creator for their sufferings. But until we understand the parable of the weeds, our faith is hindered. It was explained in the parable: “The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil…As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age (Matthew 13: 38-39).” Evil cannot be banished now because the weeds which it represents cannot be pulled up until the harvest time, lest the wheat symbolizing the good, will also be rooted up. We can, however, rely on the Judgment Day to settle the score.
Why Padron chose to be an artist? He said, “I have decided to take this path because it gives me more time, contentment and freedom to explore; it makes me understand and express my views about people and the significance of our existence.” The artist usually tackles with everyday experiences, human nature or anything with social relevance. He finds comfort in sculpting galvanized iron because they are readily available. He neutralizes its roughness with epoxy clay which has a smoother finish. Padron has initially carved his career with two finalist awards from Jose Joya Art Awards.
People try to find answers or find something they can relate to. Amid a noisy crowd, Padron loves retelling a story and putting a deeper sense of it by presenting the universal nature of man. When asked about the role of art in society, he said it is everything, having coexisted with life itself. “I should ask, ‘What is the role of an artist?’ rather than inquire the role of art itself,” the artist avers.