The exhibition, REFLECTION OF DREAMS consists of seven new large-scale and two new small-scale oil paintings, including new portraits of women gazing into mirrors and Dargas’ favored subject of flowing honey and chocolate over female faces.
Mike Dargas’ hyperrealistic style is at once provocative and sensual, creating a sense of immediacy that is textured and visceral. But a deeper look at his work reveals a fascination with intimacy, a kind of personal and private experience, conjured by an inflaming of the senses.
Dargas explains that he sees honey as a vehicle for uncovering truth and authenticity. He also looks to it as a healing substance, something that represents self-love as well as love for others. His work, though extremely sensual, goes past the erotic, towards a reinvigoration of innocence, genuine emotion and sacredness. In the works where women are drenched in sticky substances, the liquid becomes a mask that covers the model’s face, but simultaneously seems to reveal and uncover an authentic expression, as though the vulnerability of being unable to see with one’s eyes allows for the exposure of human emotion. The liquid forms also allow Dargas to show off his skillful technique and demonstrate meticulous attention to detail.
In all his paintings, the artist frequently puts an obstructive layer between his subjects and the viewer. Whereas in the past, he has used honey and chocolate, in this new series, he now experiments with mirrors, water and steam to separate the viewer from the models, so they are always just out of grasp.