Lara Allen was raised in Cincinnati. After dropping out of high school, she formed the band Manwich. At 18, she left Ohio for Minneapolis, then moved to San Francisco, where she recorded with Heavenly Ten Stems, Secret Chiefs 3 and Caroliner. After being attacked on stage, she decided to paint. In 2005, she received an MFA from Yale. Now residing in Brooklyn, she paints and performs. In 2012, she was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and a Brooklyn Arts Council grant. Recent shows include the Museo de Bellas Artes Cuba for the Havana Bienniel, the Queens Museum, CAC in Cincinnati,  and SFMOMA.