Thanatophobia, or the fear of death, is an ancient and primal phobia that Saddo confronts in his upcoming solo, “A Stranger in the Garden”. Opening this Friday the 13th at BC Gallery, his exhibition showcases his largest, and most challenging works to date on canvas and paper. Human society has shared his fascination with death for centuries in a variety of ways whether through reverence to religious deities or cultural practice. With added personal motifs, Saddo portrays such subjects as Anubis, the Egyptian god of death, and Kālī, the Hindu goddess of death.
Originally from Romania, Saddo and Aitch recently relocated to Lisbon where they found themselves caught off guard by the gloomy, damp winter. They describe the cold weather as an oppressive force that kept them indoors, affecting them both physically and psychologically. Their upcoming two-person show at La Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa, “Coffins” (could there be a gallery name and show title combination more appropriate?), reflects on their rough experience and celebrates the warmth of summer. The two artists, who are frequent collaborators as well as a romantic couple, say that they chose the title because it reflects their state of mind while they were trapped indoors in their damp apartment. Take a look at their morbidly humorous paintings after the jump.
The founder of pioneering Romanian street art collective The Playground, Saddo is an interdisciplinary artist whose offbeat, illustrative paintings reimagine history. He recently relocated to Lisbon, Portugal and created a new series of work for his solo show “Rise of the Bird People,” which opens at Objectos Misturados Gallery in the small city of Viana do Costelo on May 31. Saddo has often referenced the master painters of the 15th-17th centuries as major influences. Since he moved to Portugal, he shifted his focus to the local historical happenings of the region. “Rise of the Bird People,” though contemporary in style, takes a look at the conquistadors of the aforementioned period — when European imperialism was at its height. The bird people enact violence in the name of conquest. Though Saddo makes these heavy topics easily digestible, the works subtly evoke the ways historical patterns of systematic violence have carried over into today.