Dan Sabau comes from several walks of life. Originally born in Romania and growing up in Cleveland Ohio, he eventually made it to Greenpoint, Brooklyn and calls this local neighborhood home. His story is interesting—formerly in a band called Slak he toured and played in New York venues. After seeing what New York had to offer, he knew he wanted to live here as an artist. During his fourth year of art school in Cleveland, he did a semester in New York through Parsons and ended up moving here three months after 9/11.  You can witness his life’s movement in his work; there’s a true story behind the portraits and faces.

Sabau works with both watercolor and oil as his medium. He focuses on portraiture butwhat is most striking is his attention on the eyes. He says that when you look at someone, it’s difficult to look at both eyes—you focus on one eye, and that’s why he gets the details on the eyes first. The rest of the face is his domain where he can creatively play with watercolor and create a distorted effect. To him, less is more. Watercolor’sunpredictable nature is what interests him. There are elements reflected in the image where you can see brush strokes and colors simultaneously being pulled apart and then sewn back together.

He works on the eyes in great detail, that’s where the control comes in, but he lets the fluidity of the art take hold. He’ll add color and lines to the face and then lets the water create it’s own image. He comes back to the piece to see what interesting movement the watercolor creates. Then, the colors in the piece start to have a life of their own. There’s a realness and dichotomy that’s shown in his work. His art mimics real life, as people have both sides of needing control, while having to let go when things are out of their control.

Dan has a lot of exciting things planned in the next few months that’ll definitely be worth checking out. In August, he’ll be a featured artist at The Wren on Bowery, and he’s in talks with a local Greenpoint art gallery to showcase his work in Miami at Art Basel.


To check out more of his work or contact him for commissioned portraits, check him out on Instagram or Facebook.

Photos by Sarvenaz

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