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|Sam Dargan, A Bad Year for People|
Sam Dargan will launch Rokeby's 2007 exhibition programme with a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings.
Dargan creates paintings and drawings that express the alienation and dissatisfaction experienced in contemporary daily life. Isolated middle-income men are depicted in stark and often sinister environments; empty interiors illuminated by a solitary lamp, windswept landscapes, dirty streets, the walls daubed with political graffiti or scenes which could be taken from frames of Zapruderís home movie. Full of antagonism, Dargan's work comments on the imbalance of contemporary power systems.
Regularly responding to cinematic imagery and 20th Century literature, and more recently to the melancholy and underlying savagery of the Mannerist period Sam Darganís paintings are consistently infused with contemporary commentary. Often scenes will recall imagery seen in daily newspapers alongside scenes inspired by images found in political historical biographies. In the recent painting Life's a Riot half clothed men are bound, blindfolded and lost in an undefined desert landscape, aircraft vapor trails above their heads, one of the businessmen has a sign around his neck, I am cruel and stupid, the landscape could be lifted from the Ben-Hur or Star Wars but in fact was appropriated from a photograph by Sean Smith found in the English newspaper, The Guardian. Dargan comments on disillusioned man who has lost his way, and for whom society no longer has meaning. Yet despite the apathy there is an underlying humour which, along with the artistís accomplished observation of daily life elevates each scene.
Sam Dargan graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002. His work has been exhibited regularly throughout the UK and beyond. Recent exhibitions have included group shows at Mogadshni in Copenhagen and 'Now is Good.' (ne travaillez jamais), curated by Alistair Robinson at The Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art. In 2005 he had a two man exhibition at Rokeby, this will be his first solo exhibition at the gallery. He recently won the Oriel Moystn 16th Open, previous winners have included Gary Hume, Simon Starling and Cerith Wyn Evans.
A catalogue, with an essay by Sean Kissane will be produced in conjucture with the opening of the exhitbion.