DAIRO VARGAS: RECALL
Contemporary artist Dairo Vargas’ new exhibition, ‘Recall’, at Maddox Gallery Gstaad - his debut solo show with Maddox - presents a collection of paintings that guide the viewer into a dreamlike realm with their intense hues and fluid brushstrokes.
Influenced by Old Masters from the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods, the composition, colour, light and emotional charge in classical art has always excited the Colombian-born, London-based artist because it transports viewer to a different era and stimulates the mind in new ways.
As a child in his small hometown in Colombia, Vargas only ever saw paintings in church. He quickly became fascinated by the monumental religious altar paintings, which represented his idea of an otherworldly perfection.
Evolving from this, Vargas’ work evokes a sense of a mystical world, derived from memories, stories and daily experiences, where memory both fades and becomes embellished. This breaking down, rebuilding and distortion of memory builds a fragmented but uplifting interpretation on canvas.
The artist uses the full range of his emotions - sadness, love, happiness, excitement, gratitude - but particularly uncovers those we commonly repress. He is focused on the psychology behind how those thoughts and beliefs shape our lives - our positive or negative reactions and interpretations.
He is not concerned about correct proportions or perfect architectural lines. Instead, Vargas is interested in the emotional response from the viewer, aiming to facilitate a jump into a world of discovery.
Figurative and abstract forms provide initial cues that invite the viewer to participate in the creative process by forming new images, shapes and ideas. The artist makes us question our internal world. How do we process information? What is our reality and how do we, as individuals, see and experience it?
In this way, Vargas’ paintings explore the subconscious of their audience, aiming to aid the recall of forgotten memories and allowing them to complete each image by providing the final mental brushstrokes.