All posts tagged: Saber

“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

“Beyond The Streets” Comes To Brooklyn in June

Gastman’s Massive Graffiti and Street Art Show Arrives at Epicenter.

“I’m really excited to bring this show to New York,” says curator, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman, “because the city plays such a pivotal role in the origin and evolution of the culture. The iconic images of covered subway cars made graffiti famous worldwide.”

Style Wars Car by NOC 167 with Door Open, Man Reading Newspaper, 96th Street Station, New York, NY, 1981. (photo © Martha Cooper)

He’s talking of course about “Beyond The Streets” the hybrid exhibition that he mounted in LA last year featuring the work of 150 who have proved to be pivotal to the evolution of a fifty year global people’s art movement that includes graffiti, street art, and urban contemporary art. Filling over 100,000 square feet of new space in Brooklyn, this two-floor cross-section survey will feature artworks by many of the same vandals, graffiti writers, Street Artists, and art activists who hit NYC streets, created dialogue with passersby, and were sometimes chased by the authorities. To see them showcased here is to recognize that there is not just one route to take – in fact there are many.

Guerrilla Girls at Abrons Art Center, New York, 2015. (photo © Andrew Hindrake)

“We have an incredible roster of artists for New York,” Gastman tells us, “and a brand new space in Williamsburg that has a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline as our backdrop.” Notably the lineup includes artists whose work BSA has documented on the streets in this very same neighborhood over the past two decades, including Shepard Fairey, Faile, Swoon, Bast, Invader, Aiko, and others. Ironically the appearance of free-range Street Art in the neighborhood has been seriously diminished since that time.

The exhibition is one more verification that a significant portion of the scene is being widely recognized for its cultural contribution and value in the contemporary art canon – a significantly fluid scene fueled by discontent and a desire to short-circuit the established routes to audience appreciation. Like large survey shows elsewhere, the takeaway is the significant impact street culture and its tangential subcultures continues to have on the culture at large.

Lil’ Crazy Legs during shoot for Wild Style, Riverside Park, NY, 1983. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Gastman says the New York version of “Beyond The Streets” will take an additional interest at the role of music and art activism on the street, along with immersive installations, a tattoo parlor, a special Beastie Boys installation with artifacts and ephemera, a new 30th Anniversary Shepard Fairey project “Facing The Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent,” and large scale works by Gorilla Girls, Futura, Cleon Peterson, and Takashi Murakami. 

More news coming on programming and events, but the important opening date to know right now is June 21st.

“All in all, it will make for a really special show this Summer,” says Gastman.


BEYOND THE STREETS TEAM

Curator: Roger Gastman

Co-Curators: Sacha Jenkins SHR, Evan Pricco, David CHINO Villorente

Producer: Ian Mazie & Pressure Point Creative


Tickets and hours of operation can be found at: BEYONDTHESTREETS.COM


FEATURED ARTISTS INCLUDE:

A-ONE, AIKO, Al Diaz, Alexis Ross, Alicia McCarthy, André ​Saraiva, Barry McGee, BAST, Beastie Boys, Bert Krak, Bill Barminski, Bill Daniel, BLADE, Broken Fingaz, Buddy Esquire, buZ blurr, Carlos Mare, Carl Weston, Cey Adams, C.R. Stecyk III, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Claudia Gold, Cleon Peterson, COCO 144, Conor Harrington, Corita Kent, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dan Witz, Dash Snow, DAZE, DEFER, Dennis Hopper, Dondi White, Doze Green, EARSNOT, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Faith XLVII, Felipe Pantone, FREEDOM, FUTURA 2000, Gajin Fujita, Glen E. Friedman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guerrilla Girls, HAZE, Henry Chalfant, Herb Migdoll, Husk Mit Navn, INVADER, Jane Dickson, Jason REVOK, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, Jim Prigoff, John Ahearn, John Fekner, John Tsombikos, Joe Conzo, José Parlá, KATS, KC Ortiz, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Kilroy Was Here, LADY PINK, LAZAR, LEE Quiñones, Lisa Kahane, MADSAKI, Maripol, Mark Gonzales, Mark Mothersbaugh, Martha Cooper, Matt Weber, Maya Hayuk, Michael Lawrence, MIKE 171, MISS 17, Mister CARTOON, Nina Chanel Abney, NOC 167, Pat Riot, Patrick Martinez, Paul Insect, POSE, PRAY, Rammellzee, Randall Harrington, RETNA, Richard Colman, Richard Hambleton, RIME, RISK, Ron English, Ruby Neri, SABER, Sam Friedman, SANESMITH, Sayre Gomez, Shepard Fairey, SJK 171, SLICK, SNAKE 1, SNIPE1, STAY HIGH 149, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Takashi Murakami, TAKI 183, TATS CRU, TENGAone, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Todd James, Trash Records, UGA, VHILS, and ZESER

The show is developed in partnership with Adidas and Perrier. Additional support provided by Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.

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“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

“The Art Of Writing Your Name” Expands Potential for Both Art & Writing

Niels Shoe Meulman on the cover of The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

“Writing”, as in the graffiti sense of the word, has become quite tastefully adventurous of late, as calligraffiti pushes and pulls it in height, dimension, finesse. Evolved from our first recorded history, the modern stylizing of the letter form is as fascinating and wild as it is domesticated, the mundanity of your particular tag now veritably swimming in many depths and swirling currents, weaving complex melodies, hitting notes previously unheard.

JonOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

This was inevitable, now that you think of it, this organic and ornate practice of making your mark, and the freedom to explore it came from the street. Mark-making indeed. You can call it “The Art of Writing Your Name,” as have the authors/artists Christian Hundertmark and Patrick Hartl.

Born of many late night talks and collaborative painting sessions together, merging Christian’s abstract graphics and collage with Patrick’s calligraphy and tagging, the two slowly discovered a mutual collection of writers and artists whose work they both admired, a book slowly taking form in their minds. “Our late night sessions also implied long conversations about the evolution of Graffiti to Street Art to urban calligraphy,” the authors say in their preface.

Poesia The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Graff writers in the mid 90s Munich scene, both had developed their individual styles beyond the classic street vocabulary, now evermore interested in discovering new materials, forms, processes, influences. Just released this summer, this new collection confidently illustrates what until now may have been evident to only a few; the aesthetics of writing have expanded and permutated far beyond their own roots in graffiti, tattoo, traditional calligraphy.

“Every artist brings a different approach with their calligraphy artwork,” says perhaps the most prominent of the genre today, Niels Shoe Meulman, who blazed into the publishing world with his tome “Calligraffiti” in 2010 after bringing his practice to the street and gallery. “We all come from different experiences and have different things to say.”

SheOne The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Indeed the list here includes the literal interpretations to those so far dissembled as to appear purely abstract, the aerosoled, the inked, the drippy, the purely light, the monstrously brushed acrossed floors and rooftops, the molded and bent and aroused into sculpture. Here the letter form is stretched to its limits, far beyond its relevance as part of codified language, more so the malleable warm putty in the hands of the artist, molded and mounted and even mystifying in the service of energy, kineticism, emotion.

“I start with quite randomly placed fat cap tags on the white surface,” says German author/artist Hartl to describe his particular technique, “then I overpaint it like 80% with slightly transparent paint, tag the wall with markers, overpaint that layer again, then I do stickers and posters, rip parts off again, repeat all these steps again and again until I’m happy with the result.”

Said Dokins The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Without doubt many will find inspiration in these nearly 300 pages, these insightful interviews with artists like Stohead, Usugrow, Saber, Kryptic, Faust, Carlos Mare, L’Atlas, Lek & Sowat, Poesia, Tilt; the forward by Chaz Bojorquez, the singular, at times stunning, photos and supportive texts.

Made for “graffiti fanatics, hand lettering fans, street art junkies, calligraphy lovers, and type enthusiasts”, co-author Christian Hundertmark edited the respected “Art of Rebellion” series and he knows his audience and this slice of his culture. The 36 artists are not the only ones representing this evolution in calligraphy, but they are certainly some of the finest.

Lek & Sowat The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

L’Atlas The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Tilt The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Carlos Mare The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Faust The Art Of Writing Your Name by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.


The Art Of Writing Your Name: Contemporary Urban Calligraphy and Beyond by Patrick Hartl & Christian Hundertmark. Publikat Verlags – und Handels GmbH & Co. KG. Mainaschaff, Germany, 2017.

Artists included are Chaz Bojorquez, JonOne, Niels Shoe Meulman, Poesia, Cryptik, SheOne, Said Dokins, Stohead, Usugrow, Patrick Hartl, Lek & Sowat, L’Atlas, Tanc, Mayonaize, Soklak, Mami, Tilt, Blaqk, Soemone, Jan Koke, Jun Inoue, Vincent Abdie Hafez / Zepha, Carlos Mare, Egs, Simon Silaidis, Faust, Luca Barcellona, Bisco Smith, Creepy Mouse, Defer, eL Seed, Rafael Sliks, Saber, Pokras Lampas.

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BSA Film Friday: 11.13.15

BSA Film Friday: 11.13.15

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Ugangprosjektet-2015-by-Selina-Miles-740-Screen-Shot-2015-11-12-at-10.43

bsa-film-friday-JAN-2015

 

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

1. Ugangprosjektet 2015 in Drammen, Norway. A Film by Selina Miles
2. Crack & Shine in São Paulo. A film by Will Robson-Scott
3. Perseverare : Zes and Saber in Downtown LA
4. SatOne: Insomnia

 

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BSA Special Feature: Ugangprosjektet 2015 in Drammen, Norway.

UGANG2015 in Drammen, Norway had two weeks of murals from Street Artists and graffiti writers in late August. A relatively new event curated by local graffiti artist Eric Ness Christiansen (Eazy), the program is already slamming. A small town of 70,000 about 40 minutes from Oslo, they know how to take care of details, including inviting the inimitable Selina Miles to come and shoot it. Any questions?

 

Crack & Shine in São Paulo. A film by Will Robson-Scott

Vino, Cekis, Peter, Frs, Lead, Stile, Os Gemeos, Finok, Coyo, Caur, Ise, Nunca, Mind, Toes, Remio, and Twist are all featured in this atmopheric assemblage of traffic, extinguishers, kites, and futbol from São Paulo. Part vandal/part street poetry, you can get a sense of the family that grows up together here, choosing each other and pursuing a collective addiction.

 

Perseverare : Zes and Saber in Downtown LA

 “We were painting this neighborhood before it was even coined the Arts District,” says Saber as he talks about the new burner he and Zes paint in LA’s Downtown “Arts District,” the very name of which drips from his lips with disdain. Neighborhoods are changing across the world with the assistance of art and artists and it causes a hell of a lot of fingerwagging and accusations. Meanwhile these two are painting a gesture toward the history of a city with the hope of striking a positive note as well.

 

SatOne: Insomnia

“At the beginning of October, the project Stadt.Wand.Kunst hosted another artist. Munich-based artist Rafael Gerlach aka SatOne created a mural in Mannheim titled „Insomnia“. SatOne – born in Venezuela1977, living in Munich since the age of two – dipped his big toe into the world of graffiti in 1991, when he began trying out different writing styles in an abandoned factory site near his home. After studying graphic design and testing the waters at different graphic design agencies, SatOne has worked as a freelancer for the past 15 years, illustrating, photographing and creating murals and exhibitions around the world.”

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BSA Film Friday: 08.08.14

BSA Film Friday: 08.08.14

Brooklyn-Street-Art-Vhils-Screenshot-Aug-2014

 

BSA-Video-Friday3-Jan2014-b

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :

  1. Vhils: Diorama

  2. Vhils: Dissection

  3. Saber and ZES/MSK in Downtown LA

  4. Lush and Dscreet in Amsterdam

  5. Cranio in Shoreditch, London

BSA Special Feature: VHILS: Diorama

A tuning fork mystery infused background soundtrack suspends the slowly rotating portrait by Vhils as you hover above and within it like an alien discovering the topography of a vast cityscape. The laser cut Styrofoam enables such an exquisite experience for discovery that feels otherworldly, and then you think, “but how do I clean this when the dust builds up?”

A. Don’t be so plebeian, B. canned air,  C. when was the last time you dusted anything, I’m the one who keeps this apartment clean. You just track in dirt from the streets. I just mopped this floor!

 

Vhils: Dissection

In this other video for the EDP foundation from Vhils, we see a further exploration of materials and construction in reverse. With the echoes of its history washing around, the subway car is dismantled; a furtherance of the concepts that the Street Artist employs in the process of creation.

 

 

Saber and ZES/MSK in Downtown LA

Its the simple things in life that make summer in the city such a blast. Like spraying paint with a fire extinguisher and collaborating with your bud on a wall while the sun shines. What’s not to like?

 

Lush and Dscreet in Amsterdam

And on a different note, the menacing brilliance of this outlaw reeks of mockery and societal unraveling. Yet, sexy and funny and built on a pop culture series of references that you have forgotten or never heard of. You had us at Tricky Dick.

Cranio in Shoreditch, London

In what has evidently been turned into a commercial wall that advertizes with Street Art, this four panel Shoreditch spot is next to continuous traffic and gets plenty of eyeballs. Cranio is featured here popping up and down ladders with a soundtrack of peppy celebration music to promote a gambling site with images of sports.

 

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Tag & Buff Duet: SABER and Zes Capture the Tension in LA (VIDEO)

Tag & Buff Duet: SABER and Zes Capture the Tension in LA (VIDEO)

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”.

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Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

“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.”

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Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

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Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

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Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

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Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

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Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

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Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

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Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

brooklyn-street-art-saber-zes-msk-jordan-ahern-los-angeles-06-14-web-10

Saber . Zes . MSK collaboration in Los Angeles. (photo © Jordan Ahern)

 

CREDITS:

Saber Zes MSK
Branded Arts
Photos by Jordan Ahern @dopevinyl
@theseventhLetter
Artists and Craftsman Supply LA

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Saber and Rostarr Compare and Contrast at Opera

Now through May 11 graffiti/fine artists Saber and Rostarr are on view at Opera Gallery in Soho in lower Manhattan in a dual show that contrasts the styles of both while revealing similarities.

Saber (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The west coast graffiti celebrity Saber continues to build heavy layers upon his work, carved and chipped away to reveal what is underneath, a personal archive partially on display. It is a fitting metaphor for the residual buildup of a life and the identities that one assumes, curiously all amalgamated into one slightly grizzled presentation. Here the bombastic history of his throw-ups, burners, and tags are transformed into calligraphic letterforms and entwined with the symbolic patterning of a national flag. The muted industrial palette and battered and worn textures and finishes indicate that this has been a hard journey, but not without flourishes of beauty and flashes of style.

Rostarr’s less showy graphic symbolism may be due to a more conservative formative youth and plays more clearly with the letterform as pattern and rhythm.  The New York artist shows passion in the repetition, restricting the palette to two hues and laying in a calligraphic line and a visual beat that feels solid and confident but still human. Like Saber’s work, it feels very personal, studied, and purposefully imperfect. Without the multiple layers, it is more a contemporary diary, cleanly raw and open for you to read.

 

Saber. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saber (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saber (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saber (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saber. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saber. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saber (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Saber (photo © courtesy of the gallery)

Rostarr (photo © courtesy of the gallery)

Rostarr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rostarr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rostarr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rostarr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rostarr (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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The Seventh Letter Presents: #Art Share LA (Los Angeles, CA)

The Seventh Letter presents #ARTSHARELA
Opening reception: March 1, 2013 | 8 – 10pm
Show runs: March 1 – April 7, 2013

Art Share LA
801 E 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90013
info@knowngallery.com

A celebration of Street Art curated by Casey Zoltan of Known Gallery, featuring gallery pieces & outdoor billboards from noted Los Angeles artists: Saber, Patrick Martinez, Rime, Victor Reyes, Pose, Sage Vaughn, Willie T, Shepard Fairey, Risk, Push, Revok, Zes, Sever, Augustine Kofie and Vizie.

http://www.artsharela.org/gallery/seventhletterpresents.html

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Carlo McCormick at Nuart 2012

One of the best parts about a celebration of Street Art culture like Nuart in Norway is that there sometimes is an opportunity to speak with and listen to people who make it their mission to put it into context. New York art critic, curator, editor, and writer Carlo McCormick has an exhaustive knowledge and enthusiasm for the scene that evolved on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1970s and 80s concurrently with the evolution of graffiti into a celebrated art form.  As Street Art continues apace, having perspective on some of its precursors is imperative and McCormick knows how to bring it alive.

An moment of elation with Carlo McCormick while he addresses the Nuart audience in his keynote presentation Re:mark. (image still © Nuart 2012)

To hang out with Carlo on the street is a joy because he can ground your current observations with his knowledge of their antecedents and yet become as equally appreciative of the new artists on todays’ scene whom he hasn’t heard of.  During this talk he gave this year at Nuart in a very conversational somewhat meandering unscripted way, Carlo reveals the mindset that is necessary to keep your eyes open and appreciative of the new stuff without feeling territorial or enslaved to the past. We appreciate him because he recognizes that the march of graffiti, street art, public art, and it’s ever splintering subsets is part of a greater evolutionary tale that began before us and will continue after us.

Carlo speaks about New York artist Haze and the distinct parallels between corporate branding with the practice of developing and distilling one’s tag for repetition on the street.  (image still © Nuart 2012)

Carlo at ease, conversing with you. (image still © Nuart 2012)

During his presentation McCormick dedicates a significant portion of his remarks to the historical practice of subverting advertising and official forms of messaging – referring to the Situationists, “détournement” and similar methods of playing with perception and turning it on it’s head. Here is an uncredited image from his presentation of a Times Square scene where artist Yoko Ono’s billboard toyed with the perceptions that the Vietnam war was inevitably unending while also alerting a compliant citizenry to it’s role in the matter. (image still © Nuart 2012)

“As I do my best as a really bad scholar to investigate this history of graffiti and mark-making – kind of prior to the official history – the greatest evidence that I find of stuff is in the real canon of fine art photography. Just about every famous photographer turned – I mean it’s not incidental – turned their attention to this illicit anonymous practice., ” Carlo McCormick at Nuart.

 

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Saber Buffs Graffiti

Buff Your Own Stuff

Now you have heard it all! – A graffiti artist taking the big beige buff to his own large 20 foot long piece. Yet another performance by Saber, who can safely add conceptual to the adjectives that describe his work as artist.

SABER at Nuart 2012 (© video still copyright Nuart)

“I’m coming from the future. And the future that I experience is grey and beige and the artwork is destroyed and our history is gone and eradicated,” says Saber during his  performance at the Nuart 2012 festival that invites Street Artists from around the world to paint walls in this European Capital of Culture, the oil-rich city of Stavanger, Norway.

SABER at Nuart 2012 (© video still copyright Nuart)

Far from the city of Los Angeles, where he has been outspoken against various shades of intolerance over many years as artist and activist, and far from New York City, where he last month organized the skywriting campaign in blue skies over the region in support of public arts funding in the US, the sharp tongued Saber went for pure drama at the group show opening in September. His target in this case was the use of the term “no tolerance” that has been heard more often in recent years along with it’s cousin “zero tolerance”, proclaimed by certain elected and unelected standard bearers wildly across the spectrum when addressing issues as diverse as law enforcement, drug use, education, sexuality, truancy, religious expression, reality TV, fashion choices, and various forms of art on the streets. Seizing the zeitgeist, some liberal folk will even talk about having a sort of “zero-tolerance” for intolerance. The fear addressed by Saber of course is the misuse of these terms that can verge on hyberbole and lead to a sort of blanket fanaticism when miss-applied. “If they want to continue to elect political figures that use the words ‘no tolerance’ then the world they are going to see is going to have a very ugly future,” the high intensity Saber says in this video during his simple performance.

SABER at Nuart 2012 (© video still copyright Nuart)

As PR and ad agencies and political campaigns will tell you, the way any topic is framed will lead to a public perception and eventually even public policy – “war on cancer” is much more galvanizing than “medical research into methodologies for curing various conditions classified as cancer” for example. As with any single-phrase campaign, each of us knows that it is shorthand for something greater and the issue is often far more complex and weighty than a slogan like “War on (your word here)” can thoroughly address.  But the lacerating style of Saber’s in-show demonstration here is probably meant to be a blunt counterweight to the over-simplified arguments against all manner of public art that stylistically smacks of an illegal kind.

SABER at Nuart 2012 (© video still copyright Nuart)

Essentially this is one more argument for free speech and free expression. Clearly this case of wild handed and stylized graffiti artwork inside a gallery at the invitation of it’s organizers is approved and encouraged. Saber’s concern here is a future where the demonizing of this style of work (or any artwork) in or outside the gallery could begin a slide down a slippery slope where certain art is regulated, banned, even criminalized. It sounds extreme, but stranger things have happened in human history, and this artist makes a very public show of it.

SABER at Nuart 2012 (© video still copyright Nuart)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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UPDATE: SABER Tags Sky Over New York to Defend Arts and Bash Romney

UPDATE: BSA exclusive new footage courtesy of video artist Chris Jordan plus new images from Jaime Leo, Eszter Klajman and Chris Jordan.

New York’s skies got majorly tagged today. And Mitt Romney got called out in front of 8 million people as a #GOPFail

New Yorkers who looked up from stoop sales, soccer games, and strolls across the Brooklyn Bridge saw graffiti artist and fine artist Saber flying five planes in formation across sunny Sunday skies with messages castigating the presidential candidate for his plans to kill funding for cornerstone arts programs like the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Public Radio (NPR), the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).


“#DefendtheArts” was sky written by artist Saber over lower Manhattan at 2 pm today. NYC 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the planes spelled out #DefendTheArts over Manhattan, Saber explained to BSA in a phone interview, “Basically I’m calling out Mitt and any other politicians who are cutting arts funding because they are actually cutting jobs that are an engine to our economy. Not to mention the effect these programs have on creativity and inspiration.” One dot-matrix style message said “Protect NPR PBS NEA from cuts” while another offered the Twitter hashtag simply entitled “#MittRomneyHatesArt”.

“Protect” – which was followed by words like “actors, writers, poets, designers..” The ARTS. NYC 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As one of a handful of high profile graffiti/street artists in the US who have taken the national stage with their social and political commentary, Saber has “gone big” before, but never on this scale and never over New York City in an hour and a half display that he estimated could be seen over a 20 mile radius. “NYC is the art center of the world,” Saber says, “It is quite a good feeling to be able to spread this public message.”

BSA Exclusive Raw footage by Video Artist Chris Jordan shows artist Saber spraying the sky over Manhattan (VIDEO)

The extremely wealthy Republican candidate Romney told Fortune last month that in addition to scrapping the new national health program that is offering medical care to millions, he intends to cut funding to major arts programs if he is elected, saying of the arts programs, “I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own.”

Rather than relying simply on the generosity of patronage, Saber thinks that the government and society at large benefit from investing in artists in an increasingly “creative economy” – many of whom he called out in the sky today, including artists, writers, poets, designers, actors.

Saber. Protect The ARTS. NYC 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Taking his campaign to social media with the #DefendTheArts hashtag this time, Saber very visibly entered the national fray during the healthcare reform debate of 2009, saying that the existing for-profit system cut out people like himself, uninsurable because of his epilepsy.  Today grassroots activism that emanated from downtown NYC has expanded the conversation and he acknowledges those voices who have focused attention on Romney and the so-called 1%. “We’re making sure to fly directly over Zucotti Park with a big ‘Occupy Wall Street’ message, because that’s what New York is too.”

Amid the political messages skywritten by Saber are shout outs to friends and graffiti artists who have passed; a nod to the roll-call community memorial walls that graffiti and street artists have done in cities for decades. This new way of “getting up” also has Saber waxing poetic as he sees the effect his fresh tags have at 34,000 feet as they melt into the blue canvas over most of NYC. “It’s almost like I’m painting in the sky – it has a really beautiful effect when a fresh one lays over the one that is fading away.”

As the planes made long oval trips over Manhattan, the East River, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and back, the normally tough stuff graff guy couldn’t really mask his enthusiasm, “I’m really excited about it!”

Telling you to Tweet “@Saber” from his #defendthearts campaign over NYC 2012 (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

“Actors Poets”, Saber in the sky over NYC 2012 NYC 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Poets Patrons”, Saber in the sky over NYC 2012 NYC 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Poets”, Saber in the sky over NYC 2012 NYC 2012 (photo © Jamie Leo)

“Artists”, Saber in the sky over NYC 2012 NYC 2012 (photo © Eszter Klajman)

“#OccupyWallStreet”, Saber in the sky directly over Wall Street and Zucotti Park. 2012 NYC 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“#OccupyWallStreet”, Saber in the sky directly over Wall Street and Zucotti Park. 2012 NYC 2012 (photo © Chris Jordan)

“Artists Designers”, Saber in the sky over NYC 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Protect NPR PBS NEA” (upside down from here), Saber in the sky over NYC 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“Protect NPR No Cuts” , Saber in the sky over NYC 2012 (photo © Eszter Klajman)

Saber included shout outs to #graffiti, #streetart, and some graffiti artists and crews- here is one photo made from two cell phone photos (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

While he was 34,000 feet up over NYC, Saber had to do a few shout-outs to friends back home in LA; AWR and MSK, and even a misspelling of artist RETNA’s name. Other tributes included New York street artist Keith Haring (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

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Fun Friday 07.27.12

Let the Games Begin! (oh no, does that violate an Olympic copyright?) Here’s our Olympian sized Olympic Fun Friday Olympiatastic list, sponsored by nobody.

1. BOB ROSS REMIX (VIDEO)
2. KingBrown Group Show at Klughaus (NYC)
3. Quel Beast Solo Reception at Gallery Bar (NYC)
4. Believe the Hype at Pandemic Saturday (BKLN)
5. REVOK and SABER at Known Gallery (LA)
6. Matthew Silver Goes for the Gold in his Speedo at Union Square (VIDEO)
7. Pura Vida Presents: Entes Y Pesimo A Short Film (English) (VIDEO)

BOB ROSS REMIX (Video)

Bob Ross is back! Updated and autotuned, this visual medley ties together the overriding themes that his long-running show imparted to many people who may have been timid about reopening that creative spirit that we’re all born with. Some kids think they’re too cool and too street for this sh*t but really they like Bob’s message too, because he’s right. Get out your paintbrush and cans!

KingBrown Group Show at Klughaus (NYC)

Mike Giant is in New York and he brought some juicy markers with him. The New Show at Klughaus Gallery in Manhattan’s Chinatown hosted him yesterday with folks from Kingbrown Magazine to mark the release of their issue #8. The group show of small pieces in the gallery is smartly, densely packed with names you’ll like and  is now open to the public after last nights hot and sticky grand opening that ended with Mother nature blowing exhibition skateboarders sideways with sudden summer storm high winds and pounding rain. The show was presented along with the dudes from Fountain Arts Fair.

Mike Giant gate for Kingbrown at Klughaus Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artists include Morning Breath, Andy Jenkins, Chris Cycle, Dave Kinsey, “Grotesk” aka Kimou Meyer, Stefan Marx, Kevin Lyons, Mike Giant, Raza Uno aka MAx Vogel, Greg Lamarche, Zach Malfa-Kowalski, Steve Gourlay, Jay Howell, Ben Horton, Beastman, Phibs, Hiro, Reka, Kyle “Creepy” Hughes-Odgers, Meggs, Sean Morris, Yok, Sheryo, Ross Clugston, Daek, Lister, Numskull, Ian Mutch, Rone/ aka Tyrone Wright.

Mike Giant at work on his wall outside the gallery before the show opened. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Further information regarding this show click here.

Quel Beast Solo Reception at Gallery Bar (NYC)

The Gallery Bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan hosts the opening reception today of Quel Beast’s solo show of portraits full of emotion as he continues in the journey of self-study. In a short career on the street that has depicted everything from anguish to rage to frustration, it is good to report that there is now an occasional smile.

Quel Beast. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding this show click here.

Believe the Hype at Pandemic Saturday (BKLN)

PARTY! PARTY! PARTY! @ Pandemic Gallery tomorrow. “Believe The Hype” Is Pandemic’s title for this summer party including: The Yok, Sheryo, UFO 907, Swampy, Royce Bannon, Matt Siren, David Pappaceno, Darkclouds, Keely, Don Pablo Pedro, Cost KRT and Deeker. All the artists will paint the interior of the gallery in one collaborative mural. Go get wet and play. There will be limited prints, T shirts, zines and drawings for sale.

For further information regarding this show click here.

REVOK and SABER at Known Gallery (LA)

Double billing Revok and Saber in one night? You know the crowd will be big and enthusiastic to see these two concurrent solo shows and as Known Gallery hosts  REVOK’s “Gilgamesh” and SABER’s “Beautification” simultaneously Saturday.

REVOK in Miami for Primary Flight (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding REVOK show click here.

SABER on the streets of Los Angeles. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For further information regarding SABER show click here.

Matthew Silver Goes for the Gold in his Speedo at Union Square (VIDEO)

Miao Jiaxin captures some of the magic moments of this public performer who may be borderline bananas and who knows how to engage people, to help and flip their “I’m Free” switch to the “On” position.

 

Pura Vida Presents: Entes Y Pesimo A Short Film (English) (VIDEO)

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