Hyperrealism as an art style, characterized by highly detailed paintings indistinguishable at first sight from high resolution photographs, has been gaining popularity around the world. his art form first began getting notice in the early 2000s. Mike Dargas, former tattoo artist from Cologne, Germany, is one of the newer names in the field, but his beautiful oil paintings are already attracting attention of art-lovers everywhere.
Dargas, born in 1983, started painting at a very early age. At eight he sold his first work, at eleven he was drawing pieces of the Old Masters with crayons in front of the Cologne Cathedral. Still, he didn’t link his life with painting until much later, choosing to become a tattoo artist instead. Here are some of his works, already showing the style he would adapt later:
In his early 20s Dargas had already made a name for himself in the German tattoo scene, having won numerous professional awards and grants. Painting, however, was something he never stopped doing. The greatest inspiration, by the artist’s own admission, was to be found in the surrealistic and realistic works of Dali, Caravaggio and HR Giger. Finally, after 14 years as a tattoo master, he quit his daily job to focus on his art.
Dargas’s models come from everyday life: male and female, young and old, strong and fragile – there is a place for everyone in his paintings. By the artist’s own words, he finds his models based on facial characteristics that he himself finds attractive, and those could be very subjective. His portraits are full of sensuality and emotional nuances, each one a study in intimate closeness. Every work challenges us to take a deeper look, to understand the nature of a human being and to question our own emotional perception.
The current series of portraits Dargas is working on features women covered in honey. Despite its seeming frivolousness the concept is based on a serious issue: it is all about the scarcity of resources caused by the unlimited wants of a growing population and expanding economic countries. Honey, according to Dargas, is a symbol for gold. Although he adds that it is completely up to the viewer what to make of his works: one has the right to enjoy art without analyzing the deeper meaning behind it.
The creative process begins with a photograph taken by Dagras himself. He always approaches the photo sessions with a certain idea that he wants to express, even though often the end result is unpredictable. This is all part of the fun. When he is satisfied with the photo, he takes it to his studio, and proceeds to work on the canvas. Once he starts painting it takes several weeks to finish one work, though Dagras says he always works on a couple of portraits simultaneously to keep his focus on details.
In Dagras’s plans are exhibitions on every continent. If you don’t want to miss this and would like to see his future works, follow Mike on Facebook or Instagram: