Sadko Hadžihasanović

Sadko Hadžihasanović, "Orange Jeans", 2014, oil on masonite, 76 x 61 cm (30 x 24 inches). Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of the Artist, 2016
Sadko Hadžihasanović, "Two Brothers", 2014, oil on Masonite, 116 x 89 cm (46 x 35 inches). Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of the Artist, 2016

Sadko Hadžihasanović
Orange Jeans, 2014
Oil on Masonite, 76 x 61 cm (30 x 24 inches) 
Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of the Artist, 2016

Sadko Hadžihasanović
Two Brothers, 2014
Oil on Masonite, 116 x 89 cm (46 x 35 inches)
Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of the Artist, 2016

Sadko Hadžihasanović (Sadko) is a Toronto-based artist known for his representational paintings and drawings that combine rich narrative elements with social commentary and moments of wry humour. Born in Bihac, Bosnia in 1959, he immigrated to Toronto in 1993. Sadko studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and earned his MFA at the University of Belgrade in 1984. He has participated in over thirty exhibitions in public galleries and artist-run centres across Canada and internationally. Sadko is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto. He has taught at Georgian College since 2010, and from 2000 to 2015 taught at the University of Toronto. His work was featured in a 2007 exhibition at the MacLaren.

Orange Jeans and Two Brothers depict young Roma men posing on the streets of the Radojevo, a poor village in northern Serbia. Executed in the artist’s characteristic gestural style, the figure in Orange Jeans is almost life-sized, placing the viewer at eye level with the subject. Two Brothers, while substantially smaller, offers a similar immediacy as the figure on the left steps out of the composition toward the viewer.  Dressed in jeans and t-shirts, the boys in both works are posed naturally with a self-confident air, their proud expressions in sharp contrast to their dilapidated surroundings. “Just as their ethnic identity is associated with a specific ideal of freedom which is manifested in everything they do, they allowed the artist to portray them unhesitatingly,” curator Slavica Popov notes about the subjects.[1]  Prejudice has and continues to be a reality for Roma people, who are sometimes referred to as “gypsies”, a pejorative term associated with illegality and irregularity. In these sincere works, Sadko depicts his subjects with a disarming sense of care and a desire to quell stereotypes that persist around the Roma people. These works are from his 2015 solo exhibition at the Campus Gallery, Georgian College, Barrie.



[1] Popov, Slavica. Young Roma: Stories from Klarija. Contemporary Gallery Zrenjanin, 2016.