BOGDAN MIHAI RADU
Bogdan Mihai Radu (b. 1979, Sibiu) is a Romanian painter known for his abstract landscapes, depiction of flowers and deeply colourful, textured paintings. He spent his childhood in the iris-filled fields of Transylvania, Romania where he first discovered his passion for art. When Bogdan was a child, he saw a captivating film about an art robbery. Prestigious and pricey paintings were stolen from museums and private collections and replaced by near-perfect replicas. The owners were never to discover when or how the theft took place. The intricate and creative plot behind this film caught Bogdan’s attention, inspiring him to echo the script by ‘borrowing’ his grandmothers’ and other relatives’ paintings – allegedly needing them for school – only to reproduce them and return the beautifully executed renditions to their owners. Just like in the film, Bogdan’s family was never able to suspect the trick he played on them through his artful mastery.
Despite his artistic capabilities, Bogdan’s family decided to enrol him in a local high school that focused on the study of railways and rail issues. He never gave up on his artistic studies though and decided to attend Friedrich Müller’s college classes and became a certified art therapist. Shortly after, he began volunteering in various centres for disabled children. By witnessing the children’s genuine ease and joy in participating in artistic activities, and the miraculous effects of colour on one’s psychology, Bogdan decided to pursue an artistic career.
Bogdan held his first solo show in 2002, Past Shrouded in Shadow and Colour, at Casa Ille et Vilaine, receiving many accolades among Sibiu’s arts community. In 2003, Bogdan became a member of the Union of Fine Artists in Sibiu, Romania which led to his participation in a group exhibition at Atelier 35 gallery and a solo exhibition entitled Reflections at Atelier 202 in Apoldu de Sus. After this, Bogdan took part in various notable solo exhibitions such as the Flavours of Sibiu at the Casa Luxembourg, Plunged into Colour at the Cisnădie City Hall in 2004, and a focus on watercolours, Contrast and Colour in 2005. In 2005, Bogdan was named one of the ‘Young Talent’ winners in a contest organised by the Art e Arte Foundation.
Bogdan has taken part in several noteworthy group exhibitions in Romania, including the Ion Dacian at the National Theatre of Operetta in Bucharest in 2005, Angels and Saints at the Comedy Theatre in Bucharest in 2006, and The Queen Mary’s Heart in the Carol I Central University Library in Bucharest in 2006.
In 2007, Bogdan was admitted into the Art and Design University of Cluj-Napoca where he developed his practice. In parallel with his studies at UAD, he studied under the guidance of Corneliu Brudașcu – an influential Romanian painter who enjoys international recognition – whose style was deeply influential for Bogdan. The years thereafter were followed by a series of exhibitions such as the Bogdan, Mihai, and Radu exhibition at The Student’s Culture House in Cluj-Napoca and It’s tiring to be a painter in the Green Hours Jazz Cafe in Bucharest.
Bogdan moved to London after winning 1st prize in the Oxford International Art Fair in 2018 which led him to present his work, as a special guest, at the Tokyo International Art Fair in the same year.
“A Romanian artist whose works spoke volumes at the entrance to the show. On an immense scale that’s immersive, Bogdan’s abstracted expressionism is bold and striking, dense with mood and emotion” – Richard Knight, Christie’s, Oxford 2018)
In November 2020, Bogdan received an official decoration for his contribution to arts and culture; as a sign of recognition and appreciation for the important and prestigious career in the service of visual arts, for the talent, dedication and professionalism that led to the enrichment of universal culture and spirituality and for the major contribution to promoting Romania’s image in the United Kingdom.
“To Britain and Northern Ireland, The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, awarded the Order of ‘Cultural Merit’ in the rank of Knight, Category C – ‘Fine Arts,’ to Mr. Bogdan Mihai Radu, visual artist.”
His works are included in several notable museums, including the Cotroceni National Museum in Bucharest, Romania. In 2021 he had a solo exhibition The Heart of Queen Marie, at Mogosoaia Palace, outside Bucharest.
He exhibited two times in the recent years at the Romanian Cultural Institute, in London: Tony Blair visited his 2019 Searching for Life Exhibition, while after the second one, Eight Regained Moments Exhibition, in 2021, he has been included in Paul Kenyon’s book Children of the Night. Furthermore, this year, his painting Yellow Flowers has been shortlisted at the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Art.
His works are also included in a few large private collections of Members of Parliament, Ambassadors and businessmen.
Bogdan lives and works in London, United Kingdom.