Saadio’s workspace sits slightly incongruously – yet also completely appropriately for someone adept at mixing up the signifiers of city life – amongst the tailors, bakeries, car part shops and Fataya sellers of Ouakam’s busy main street.
Originally from Guinea, Saadio began his professional life as building painter. He only became an artist aged 32, after he met a well-known Senegalese artist who encouraged him to explore his medium in a different way.
Influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat, he began creating unique visual patchworks of his urban environment and his African cultural origins.
His paintings capture the buzz of Dakar’s street life using the motifs that can commonly be found all over the city: scooters and Car Rapides, stray dogs, hairdressers, taxis, street signs, graffiti, and Café Touba sellers.
The canvasses fizz with exuberance, commotion and chaos, with everyone and everything jostling for space. You can almost hear the cacophony of city noises; the car horns and street-vendors, radios blaring, dogs barking, and cell phones beeping.
Saadio has recently begun experimenting with painting on furniture, some of which can be seen in a group exhibition at the British Council in Dakar until January 23d as part of the Partcours Art Festival. If you live outside Senegal and are interested in purchasing Saadios’ work, some pieces are available here.
Thank you to Mamoudou Lamine Kane for providing the photos for this post.