Saddo/ Raul Oprea Sebastian

Romania 1981

Illustration, Painting, Murals

www.saddo.ro

Saddo
Raul Oprea Sebastian
Male
Romania
1981
October 18, 2015
Jasmina is a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013. You can contact her via jasmina.sevic@widewalls.ch.

Saddo is the pseudonym of Raul Oprea, a Romanian contemporary painter, muralist and illustrator who has exhibited his work in galleries all over the world, including Austria, Romania, Denmark, USA, Canada and El Salvador. He was the founding member of one of the initial Romanian street art group – The Playground.

His work went through different phases and influences, including horror movie posters and comics. He is also influenced by pop-surrealism, mythology and religion themes.

Street Art by Saddo

Saddo - mural in Bucharest
Saddo – mural in Bucharest

Career beginnings

The Playground

Painter, illustrator and street artist, Saddo was born in 1981. Since an early age he was captivated by stories, myths, fantasy, sci-fi books and movies, particularly the horror and fantasy movies.

He earned a degree from the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, the second most populous city in Romania. Soon after graduation he started doing street art in the city of Cluj and founded one of the initial Romanian street art collectives – The Playground. They were doing stickers, paste-ups and sometimes murals.

Saddo and Aitsch

Impressed by the fact that graffiti was so free and unpretentious and had no expectations, he slowly got more and more into it. Street art activities changed his world views and the way he perceived the world and art. He discovered a whole new world of different artistic practices, and he began to work as an illustrator for advertising agencies.

Then he moved to Bucharest, the country’s capital, where he met his girlfriend, a highly talented artist Aitch, who motivated him to explore new techniques and subjects.

Saddo and Aitch - duo show in Timisoara, installation view time
Saddo and Aitch – The Golden Hour – duo show in Timisoara, installation view

Influences and Imagery

Always attracted towards a fantastical, sometimes bizarre imagery, his paintings often depicts bizarre, weird, uncanny and dreamlike scenes. His style is the eclectic well of mixed influences, ranging from horror movies, comics and street art, to the high gothic masters of 15th – 17th century such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, to realistic illustration, pop surrealism, legends and religious imagery.

The artist lived throughout his native country, but also in Germany and Portugal, permanently being inspired by the local histories and imagery related with places where he lived.
Saddo creates allegorical and spiritually charged imagery with a folk art aesthetic.

Paintings by Saddo

Saddo - Untitled #1 - Untitled #2 - 2015 - death time
Saddo – Untitled #1 (Left) / Untitled #2 (Right)

Exhibitions

Saddo is represented by BC Gallery in Germany. A Stranger in the Garden was his recent solo show held at BC Gallery in May 2015. The exhibition presented the latest works by this extraordinary artist, works dealing with the themes of mortality and death. Mainly using acrylic on canvas, the artist’s stunning paintings explored some of the most enigmatic subjects of human existence.

He has participated in group show in BC Gallery along with Axel Void, Blo, Jaz, Reka, Aitch and Wesr Figueroa in 2014.

His work was included in numerous exhibitions in galleries throughout the world including Vienna, Austria; Viana do Castelo, Portugal; and Ottawa, Québec, Canada, to name a few.

Recent Work

Saddo - Untitled #1 - Untitled #2 - 2015 - death - design time
Saddo – Brother of Sleep/Thanatos (left) / Summer Sun/Nergal – 2014 (right)

Featured image: Saddo’s mural in Bangkok, 2013
All images copyright © the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015A Stranger in the GardenBC Gallery, Berlin, GermanySolo
2014UnknownBC Gallery, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2014Coffins, with AitchLa Petite Mort Gallery, Ottawa, CanadaGroup
2014Rise of the Bird PeopleObjectos Misturados gallery, Viana do Castelo, PortugalSolo
2014Knotenpunkt Festival ExhibitionHamburg, GermanyGroup
2013The Garden of Good & Evil, with AitchAtelier Olschinsky, Vienna, AustriaGroup