Saber (born 1976, Glendale, California) is an American graffiti artist, and painter working in Los Angeles. The Washington Post described him as one of "the best and most respected artists" in his field.
Los Angeles River
Saber is most famous for an exceptionally large piece he did on the concrete bank of the Los Angeles River in 1997. The full color piece took 97 gallons of paint and 35 nights spread out over the course of a year to complete. The final work, measuring 250 x 55 feet has been called "the largest graffiti painting ever." The work was viewable from satellite. Highly visible from the East LA interchange near downtown Los Angeles, it was seen by millions of drivers. A photo taken upon completion of the work shows the full scale; Saber can be seen sitting in the upper portion of the letter B, and above the concrete bank several trains show the relative length. The global reputation of the work within the graffiti world was further spread when that same photo was used as the splash screen for artcrimes.org, the first graffiti art website. In 2004, Saber recreated the piece in a diorama of the river for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County exhibit, L.A.: light / motion / dreams. In 2007, the piece was included in the KCET project Departures: LA River. Remarkable not only for sheer size, Saber's LA River piece remained for 12 years. On September 1, 2009, a sub-contractor of the Army Corps of Engineers, BJD Resourcing, removed the work by painting over it.
American flag controversy
Recently in 2010 Saber filmed a video of him painting the American flag and painting on it. People said that he was desecrating the American flag. Saber had many discussions with news networks such as Fox News and MSNBC. As he was quoted on his website: "It was never my intention to insult or disrespect anyone. The decision to paint the flag was to show it as a living, breathing, changing organism, that represents me as an American trying to manage this lifelong disease (referring to his epilepsy) without health care."
Saber graduated from Thousand Oaks High School and dropped out of art school in San Francisco. He has also painted many places in San Francisco, and was interviewed by Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine for the July 2007 issue.
- O'Sullivan, Michael (2006-10-13). "On the Streets, Graffiti Is Making a Name for Itself". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
- "Writingonthewall". Playthings. Reed Business Information. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
- Neelon, Caleb. "Issue Icons: Saber". Swindle Magazine. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- "Satellite image of work". Google Maps. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
- Blankstein, Andrew (2009-12-28). "Army Engineers Clean Up Graffiti Along L.A. River". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- "Saber’s Statement On The Health Care Reform Video Challenge" SaberOne.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09
- "Interview with Saber". Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine. High Speed Productions. July 2007.