When you live in certain cities you are accustomed to the sort of cat and mouse game that municipalities play with graffiti taggers/writers with the cancelling out of one another’s work with paint. Today we take a look at a legal mural by Saber and Zes in Los Angeles that aims to capture the action between the untamed madness and wild markings of the writer and the blocky beige paint blobs that redact those markings from the visual cityscape, a practice many refer to as “the buff”.
“This particular style is an homage to this visual conflict that we see everyday on our city’s walls,” Saber tells us of this mural painted on a new art supply store that just opened in downtown LA. He says that the tension between the two forces is what gave energy to the project that used tools like a fire extinguisher, a bug sprayer, and that nice buff color, along with a fair number of fatcaps. Saber says it was a bit of an experiment.
Explaining the approach, Saber tells us they kept their state of mind loose while testing the uncontrolled quality of the substance applicators they were employing. “Usually these tools are used for bombing so the idea that we kept in mind was that there are no mistakes,” he says. “Any mark made on the wall only adds to the layers creating the tension between tagging, color and the beige of buff. Our goal was to capture samples of this conflict that takes place in the urban environment between tagging, handstyles and the relentless buff. Eventually the buffing took on a life of it’s own, almost turning into clouds that were weaving in and out of the scrawls.”