Mike Dargas forces us to stop in front of his works. And he doesn’t do it with subjects in striking poses or with scenes that upset, but by asking us to question our perception: his hyperealistic works are so finely made that they look beautiful photographs. It is only at a careful glance that the subjects are actually painted with a disarming accuracy.

Studying his subjects with an intensity that rivals Caravaggio and Dali, each piece is an intimate study that evokes the intricacies of thought, emotion and feeling. —Maddox Gallery

Mike was born in Germany in the early 80s where he reproduced the great classics of art with colored chalks in the pavement in front of the Cologne Cathedral since he was a child. Immediately recognized for his prodigious talent, he was accepted into one of the most prestigious schools in the city – the only child in an adult class.

It is the desire to tell the soul of people that pushes Mike towards hyperrealism: his oil paintings are the mirror of the soul, and in this sense his subjects are open books. To reinforce this communicative transparency, Mike covers his subjects with honey veils (always oil painting!): Honey is healing and beautiful. It’s Mike’s favorite material to work with. When the liquid covers the model, an authentic expression is revealed. It’s as though the honey humbles and creates a vulnerability that allows for true and genuine emotion to surface. There is no hiding with this process, and discovering the truth, is what Mike strives for through his creations. To get below the surface of things. He tries to capture that magic and preserve the sacredness of the moment. There is much more to everything that exists and that is especially true with his art. You have to feel into it.”

© Mike Dagras — mikedragas.net ↗︎