Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saadio's Studio

Recently, I had the pleasure to visit Saadio's studio located in the Ouakam area of Dakar, Senegal with a group of ladies with the Dakar Women's Group Art Committee.
I have been familiar with Saadio's work from a couple of local exhibition as well has his participation with the Dakar Women's Group Art Show in the past.  One of members, Adrienne, arranged the visit for our committee and helped to translate his French.
While looking at the paintings in his studio Saadio shared a little information about his background and influences.  Saadio is a Pular name for the child born after twins. He had an eight year apprenticeship studying with artists trained by the former president, Senghor, who was famous for his support for the arts.
His work is influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat and the musician Tupac. Saadio identifies with the street smart influence of these artists.  His paintings are brightly colored, have a pop art feel but a conscious message about the situation of people of Senegal.  The layers of images, style and variety of languages are intentionally reminiscent of the layers of graffiti and posters found on walls and buildings and languages heard on the street.  Saadio believes the purpose of art is to commentate on society and raise awareness and so his art is political. Sadio creates sculpture with these goals.
He often works on Goree island to escape the heat of Dakar.
He has exhibited in Dakar, Europe and the United States.


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