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Dairo Vargas: an artistic introspection

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Dairo Vargas is an artist with a deep and subtle artistic affinity. His pencils flow on the canvas in an area of sublime movements. Everything wears a poetry only a profound artist can create. 

Dairo Vargas is a special name in the world of art. What is the story behind it?

I was born in Colombia and raised in a small town. Even in those early days I was asked to paint murals on the facades of buildings and in public spaces. I've always known that I wanted to be an artist.  I've been drawing, creating or copying what I see in nature for as long as I can remember. 
My artwork now is influenced by old masters from the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods. The composition, colour, light and emotional charge in classical work has always been exciting to me. 

Tell us more about your art, what it represents, and the message it wants to convey...

I am very much interested in the mind and the emotions we attach to events.I am, also, interested in the emotional response from the viewer. I aim to facilitate a jump into a world of discovery. I want to the viewer to question their internal world - how we process information- what is reality and how we, as individuals, see and experience it.

You are an ambassador for mental health. Please let us know more about your choice ...

Depression played a big part in my life when I was younger. Consumed by negative thoughts and low self esteem, I never asked for professional support for fear of judgment and discrimination. After many years of suffering I started using art consciously to heal myself.  After I recovered,  I decided to show others my process so they could also transform their lives for the better.

Is there a story in your life that is much attached to art that you want to share? 

As a child in Colombia my family used to take me to church for Sunday morning mass. The church became one of my favourites places as it was the only time I ever saw paintings. Each wall had either a painting or a sculpture and a small series or drawing under the arches dividing the rooms. The magic movement and combination of colours reflected on the upper walls by the intensity of the sun, passing through the windows was  amazing to watch.  I quickly became fascinated by the monumental religious altar paintings which represented my idea of an otherworldly perfection. 

Who are the artists that inspired you the most? 

There are so many but I'll summarize in a few words those who have played an important part in my development as an artist. When I was in my 20s, I met an art teacher who introduced me to the work of William Turner. I was fascinated by the use of colour and light in his work. The luminosity and intensity of colour in each painting resonated profoundly in me.  The work of Francis Bacon made a big impact, the distorted figures, dark colours reflecting his agony, and suffering of being human. He was able to portray a range of emotions and make us reflect about life, death and existence. Another is Peter Paul Rubens. His masterpieces influence my work, especially the mythological and religious compositions. He used such dramatic style, condensed energy and rich colours. I love the way he contrasts light and dark and how the details give his paintings a different dimension.  Looking at his work, I can feel the movement, contours and sensuality of the figures.

What emotions are carried out and put into your paintings?

I want my work to evoke a sense of a mystical world derived from memories, stories and daily experiences. Breaking down, rebuilding and distortion of memory, rebuilding fragments to create a new image on canvas.
I aim to use a wide range of my own emotions - sadness, love, happiness, excitement, gratitude - but particularly cover those we commonly repress. I am focused on the psychology behind those thoughts and how the beliefs shape our lives - our positive or negative reactions and interpretations.

Do you dissociate yourself from your art or is it the one and the same?

I like to think that my art is a direct reflection of my thoughts and emotions. Every day and every experience shape my thought and reactions and as I evolve, so do my paintings.

What is your life philosophy that finds its threads in your art, also?

I have always been inspired by people and the interaction with them.  Even the smallest encounters can cause big changes in our state, affecting our mood, inspiring us or on the contrary, leaving deep marks.  My philosophy is always to give the best you have to yourself and to others. Only by transforming our internal world, we can have dramatic positive impacts on the outer one.

How do you visualize your art in the future? 

I would like to explore sculptural works. I have already created small prototypes and hopefully one day I'll develop bigger pieces.  

Dairo Vargas proves a certain sensitivity that is reflected in his art, in line with a humanist philosophy and approach. The visual perspectives, the fluid lines and contours are defining an abstract emotion wanting to become concrete. The vividness of the colors and the smooth movements of the pencil prove a certain tendency towards human's emotions reflected in a frame, a story beyond them all. 

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