'Middle Management Meltdown', Sam Dargan

A painting of a stressed, balding, business man writing on a flip chart

Oil on board, 30 x 23 cm , 2008

Artist's statement

For some time I have made work that I want to resonate with my own experience in the workplace. The characters in my paintings are often drone-like, shown in humdrum settings at times of extreme personal or social disaster. It's the monotony of the protagonists' existence against the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in that provides the dark humour in my work. I want the viewer to have a grudging respect for my protagonist and at the same time an antipathy towards the jobsworth. Visually, my painting has to have a deadpan quality to highlight the abjection and futility the character is experiencing.


Sam Dargan was born in Margate in 1971. He studied at KIAD Canterbury 1991-94 and the Royal College of Art London 2000-02. Group exhibitions include 'Now is Good (ne travaillez jamais)' Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art Sunderland 2004, 'The Darkest Hour' Mogadishnu Copenhagen 2005, 'If you go down to the woods today' Rockwell London 2005. Solo shows are 'The Unspeakables' Prenelle Gallery London 2004 and 'A Bad Year for People' Rokeby Gallery London 2007 (Rokeby solo show forthcoming 2008). He won the 'Oriel Mostyn Prize' 2006 and has taught at UCCA Canterbury and the Estonian Academy of Fine Art Tallin.

Rokeby Gallery website