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Artist Statement


Paul Darragh lives and works as an artist and designer in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. His painting practice traverses both traditional canvases and large-scale outdoor paintings in public spaces.

Darragh’s work is driven by a fascination with the intersection of globalisation, infrastructure, and technology. Through his use of acrylic paint on canvas and mixed media techniques, he seeks to create vibrant, geometric abstractions that explore the impact of these forces on our world. 


Darragh’s artwork is characterised by flat, graphic compositions that employ optical illusions and precise rendering to create a dynamic visual experience. Bold, bright colours are a hallmark of his work, and he enjoys pairing them in unexpected ways to create a sense of vibrancy and movement.


In addition to their aesthetic appeal, Darragh’s pieces aim to promote reflection and conversation around pressing global issues. He hopes that his art inspires joy through its use of colour, while also prompting viewers to consider the impact of infrastructure, social media, and emerging technologies such as AI and VR on our lives and the world we inhabit. Through manipulating space and playing with perspective, he strives to create a unique experience that challenges the viewer to think in new ways.


Prior to his transition to a full time painter in 2016, he had achieved a high level of success as a creative director and designer across many facets of the graphic design industry. Darragh spent ten years living and working in New York City where he established his own design studio and gallery space (Manhattan Born) and worked on projects with many notable individuals, companies and institutions.

Solo Exhibitions & Commissions

Upcoming: April 2024: Dynamic Panic: Nancy Caiger Gallery, Hamilton, NZ

November 2023: Show Vision. TwentySix Gallery, Wellington NZ

February 2023: Shape Up Or Ship Out. Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga, NZ
November 2022: Global Flagship (Commission Wall Painting) Boon Street Art Fair, Hamilton, NZ.

September 2022: Te Papa o ngā manu Porotakataka (Commission Wall Painting) Tauranga City Council, Tauranga, NZ.

July 2022: IRL. Studio 1, Auckland, NZ

March 2022: Bemodern's Metaverse. Space Gallery, Whanganui, NZ
August 2021: Cross Together (Commission Street Painting) The Incubator Creative Hub, Tauranga, NZ

June 2021: Innovating Streets (Commission Street Painting) Hamilton City Council, Ward St. Hamilton, NZ

May 2021: Out Of Shape. Monster Valley, Auckland, NZ

January 2021: Reach & Engagement. Wallace Gallery, Morrinsville, NZ

October 2020: Organic Mechanic. Space Studios & Gallery, Whanganui, NZ

April 2020: Artificial Intelligence. Neon Parlour, Melbourne, Australia (Virtual exhibition due to COVID-19)

March 2020: Gettin’ There. The Incubator, Tauranga, NZ

July 2019: Goodbye Earth. Wallace Gallery, Morrinsville, NZ

June 2018: Game Of Life. Laree Payne Gallery, Hamilton, NZ

Group Exhibitions 

February 2024: Boon Sculpture Trail, Hamilton CBD, NZ.

November 2022: Home & Garden. Supercut Projects, Tauranga, NZ.

October 2022: Dancing With Myself: A Group Show in 22 Acts. Shepperson Education Center, Waiheke Island, Auckland, NZ.

May 2022: Artists on Artists. Studio 1, Auckland, NZ

July 2021: Defending Plurality. Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga, NZ

July 2021: Fine Lines. Space Studios & Gallery, Whanganui, NZ

May 2021: Treasured Art. Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga, NZ

December 2020: Flip! Grant Jack Studio, Cambridge, NZ

October 2017: Vacant Spaces by Colours Collective. Ponsonby Central, Auckland, NZ

August 2017: All In. Wallace Gallery, Morrinsville, NZ


April 2023: New Zealand Painting & Print Making Award 2023, Finalist, Hamilton, NZ

February 2023: The Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 2023 - Finalist, Whakatane, NZ

February 2022: The Miles Award 2022 - Finalist, Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga, NZ

February 2020: Adam Portraiture Award 2020, Finalist, NZ Portrait Gallery, Wellington, NZ

February 2019 New Zealand Painting & Print Making Award 2019, Finalist, WINTEC, Hamilton, NZ

Art Fairs

July 2023: Urban Break 2023 (Solo Booth) Seoul, South Korea

December 2019: Aqua Art Miami 2019, Represented with Alessandro Berni Gallery, Miami, FL, U.S.A

October 2019: Clio Independent Art Fair (Solo Booth) New York, N.Y. U.S.A

May 2019: The Other Art Fair (Solo Booth) Melbourne, Australia

November 2018: Fresh Produce (Art Fair) Red Bull HQ, Auckland, NZ

Design Career

2017 - Present, New Zealand.

Remote freelance designer and art director for various design studios & brands including:

Trollback + Co. (NY), Versus (NY), Loyal Kaspar (NY), Cause + Effect (NY), Fake Love (NY), Juniper Jones (NY),
SPUR (NZ), Australia Post (AUS), Mod-Op (NY)

2014 - 2017, New York, N.Y.

Freelance designer and art director for various NYC design studios including:

Versus, Loyal Kaspar, Fake Love, Los York, Sibling Rivalry, Cause + Effect, Transistor Studios 

2010 - 2014, New York, N.Y
Co-Founder & creative director of Manhattan Born LLC. Design studio & gallery.

2008 - 2010, New York, N.Y

Freelance designer and art director for various NYC design studios including:

Brand New School, Click 3X, Interspectacular, Adolescent, First Ave Machine, Hush, Mantra, Lifelong Friendship Society, Panda Panther, Blind.

2007 - 2008, New York, NY

Designer at Favorite Color

2004 - 2007, Melbourne, Australia

Art Director at Furst Media


2003: Diploma of Computer Graphic Design, Natcol (Yoobee College), Wellington, NZ

2002: Bachelor of Design (2 years) Massey University, Wellington, NZ
2000: Bachelor of Mediarts (1 year) Wintec, Hamilton, NZ

© 2024 Paul Darragh // BEMODERN

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