Darragh O’Connell’s portrait of his son Mick – winner of this year’s Ireland-U.S. Council and Irish Arts Review Portraiture Award at the RHA annual exhibition – is a painting of quiet, confident masculinity and a remarkable artistic achievement, writes Angela Griffith
Darragh O’Connell is a self-taught artist who came to painting relatively recently. Trained as a civil engineer, he began to explore his burgeoning interest by taking a number of local evening art classes, which progressed to enrolling in RHA school masterclass and workshop modules. O’Connell also acknowledges the central role of his mentor, artist David Begley, in his development as a painter in terms of his process and his confidence. Within a few years, O’Connell received further encouragement when in 2018 he was short-listed for the Zurich Portrait Prize at the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI).
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