saddo is a romanian illustrator/street artist. his take on low brow art was shown in exhibitions all over the world. beside drawing and painting, he does skate boards, urban toys and occasionally large size murals. his harmonious collaboration with fellow artist and gf aitch translates to plenty of collaborations and sometimes joint exhibitions (click here and here). if you haven’t heard of him yet, this is your chance!
below, you have a momentary glimpse into saddo’s world:
why saddo? is saddo any different than raul?
initially a pseudonym was necessary as i was pretty active in the street art scene. lately though, i’m more focused on painting or drawing on canvas, wood, paper, etc. i occasionally paint murals, but i still kept my pseudonym as some people know me as saddo.
and, during the last years, art has become more and more important in my life, so there is no huge difference between saddo and raul.
what are your favourite themes? what inspires you?
i’m pretty much into any kind of art, from lowbrow, to naturalistic illustrations of plants and animals, african art, naive art, rousseau, bosch, walton ford, arcimboldo, etc. i also like story-telling in its many different forms: novels, myths, movies, etc. i like to think that each of my pieces is some sort of illustration of an untold story, or a still from a bigger picture.
i like to paint fantastical characters, sets, mixes of humanoid characters and animals or birds, plants, flowers, themes related to mythology, folklore, death, time, etc.
i’m also very inspired by aitch.
what is your work ethic?
usually “inspiration” just comes and goes, sometimes i can’t draw or paint anything, and sometimes i just can’t stop working. :p
but if i really have a deadline, either for a commissioned project or for an art show, i will just push myself no matter how uninspired i feel, so that everything is delivered on time.
do you have a day job or are you a fully independent artist?
nope, i haven’t had one in 4 or 5 years. i just sell artworks, do illustrations or murals for different clients or advertising agencies. i’m a mix of independent artist and freelance illustrator.
what is your relation with street art?
after I graduated from the university of art i was really confused about my possibilities. i didn’t really trust myself to share my work, stuff like that. so, for two years, i didn’t do any kind of art. and then I discovered street art and i tried to do it myself. timidly at first, doing small stickers and stencils. together with a bunch of very dear friends in cluj-napoca we founded this group called the playground. we used to work together, make stickers, paste-ups, stencils, even murals, it was really really fun. and i realized that art is not just high brow or serious, it can also be very accessible, fun to make and to share with others. and from this came all kinds of possibilities and opportunities. i got into drawing and painting again, i started painting big murals. i got to meet and know lots of other artists, collaborate with them, make pieces for lots of art shows in many different cities and countries. make illustrations for many cool projects. so street art pretty much revived my interest in art, and my self-confidence.
in the last years, i became more focused on doing works for art shows, commissioned illustrations, and occasionally murals for different clients or mural festivals, like fokus festival in goerlitz, germany, detour in holon, israel (collaboration with aitch), city bilder in dresden, germany (collaboration with other), street delivery in bucharest (collaboration with sinboy), and bukruk, next month in bangkok, thailand.
but every once in a while i miss the fun of going out with a bunch of posters, a bucket of wheat paste, some rollers+brushes and a few friends. so I paint some zombies or fantastic characters or big black tribal heads and paste them up in the street.
tell me about your upcoming shows.
aitch and i will have two shows in canada, this summer. the galleries (((parantheses))) in halifax, and la petite mort in ottawa. and we might paint a mural together with our friend other in montreal, meet some other artists, maybe have some other show, etc. we will be there for the whole month of june.
in february, i’ll be part of a mural / street art festival in bangkok, there’ll be a show with many different artists, plus i’m gonna fly there to paint a mural.
there might also be a duo-show with aitch and i in vienna in september, a mix of art prints and original pieces, but we don’t have too much info about this yet.
what are your favourite spots in the world?
me and aitch love walking through lisbon or venice or amsterdam, especially lisbon, we’d love to be able to live there someday.
while we were living in berlin we used to like treptower park.
thank you very much, raul!
photo credits: saddo