Ian was added to Who’s Who in Irish Art located within the Irish Art Encyclopedia early this month. Below is a partial review written by Neil Collins - Editor of the Irish Art Encyclopedia. Please visit this site to read the entire mini-review and biography of Ian.
Ian Darragh (1959-2008)
There is a haunting yet monumental quality about the art of this man. Even his most straightforward pictures have a timeless complexity. His women have a Renaissance stillness about them, but with a modern twist: a sort of mysterious edginess. In a way, he does for portraiture what Giorgio de Chirico does for townscapes - he makes us aware of “something else.” Many of Darragh’s male portraits have a similar Renaissance aura about them, although both the examples shown here are strictly 20th century: shades of Raymond Chandler in Man Speaking on the Telephone, shades of Edward Hopper in Figure at a Window. In any event, a mastery of narrative is evident. Look closely at the mouth of L’Espanogla and see the anger and resignation of a proud woman. Look into the eyes of Man Speaking on the Telephone - have you ever seen a man so torn? These are complex works, magnificently rendered and deeply conceived. What a tragedy for art that Darragh’s prime was restricted to the decade of his twenties, and that illness snuffed out any chance of a come-back.