Things to do in Miami: “Saber: Escape From Los Angeles” at the Museum of Graffiti
His artwork was visible by satellites orbiting the earth in 1997 when he created the world’s largest graffiti, and now Miami audiences can feast on the LA street artist’s latest works. Saber.
Considered by many to be a master of the art of graffiti whose career has taken him from the streets of Los Angeles to the studio, Saber exhibits his new and recent works at the Museum of Graffiti in Wynwood. “Saber: Escape From Los Angeles,” showing through mid-November, features paintings and drawings that reflect the danger inherent in the Los Angeles cityscape and the artist’s inner journey as he lives with it. repetitive grand mal seizures. A large-scale mural is created using modified fire extinguishers filled with paint.
“I love the texture. I love raining paint. I love dirty drips. I love being covered in paint. I love amplifying the paint strokes on an even greater scale. It’s also raw. as possible, ”Saber said of the mural. . “I fill the fire extinguishers with paint, I go to the gas station to pump them out with air and I don’t get caught.”
Saber received international fame at the age of 21 when he created a graffiti 55 feet high and 250 feet wide – almost the size of a football field – on the banks of the Los Angeles River. He applied 97 gallons of paint over 35 non-consecutive days over the course of a year, and the part was visible from space for a dozen years. Although the US Army Corps of Engineers covered it up in 2009 as part of a graffiti removal project funded by federal stimulus money, its legacy and legend remain.
“It’s the biggest piece of wild-style graffiti in the world,” Saber said. “I am very proud of the fact that he has inspired younger children who are not astronauts or famous actors. There is something tangible to be created for them that leaves a mark.”
Art featured prominently in the childhood of Saber who grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, when his parents ran an art studio. In fact, his family tree has sprouted several generations of artists, including his grandfather Euclid Shook, who rose to prominence for his pin-up designs for men’s magazines in the 1940s and 1950s. At 12 years old Saber developed an interest in graffiti through a combination of his involvement in Southern California skate culture and the encouragement of his parents and their exposure to various creative processes.
“I have always been surrounded by creativity and I started drawing very early on. I really wanted to learn. Metro artit all went quickly from there, ”recalls Saber. “Graffiti has given me the platform to explore the unorthodox tools I use. Graffiti is at the helm to push the boundaries. “
A series of works presented in “Escape From Los Angeles”, entitled Bladerun, imagine a not-so-distant future for the City of Angels, both beauty and dystopia: buzzards encircling road killings, police helicopters invading the cloudless sky that turns pink gold when the sun shines. plunges below the horizon. Saber says a life spent in Los Angeles shaped the trajectory of his career and influenced the content of his work.
“LA, like any other major metropolitan city, has it all. You can see the danger, the hackers, the criminals and the filth,” says Saber. “There is an illusion that success is accessible. In reality, the rich and famous are barricaded away from everything else except traffic. For those who live on the fringes, you can choose your own adventure. It touched me personally because I had to overcome violent and dangerous urban obstacles to get to where I am now in the art world. ”
Other pieces in the exhibit use pops of color and vivid light to illustrate his experience of living with epilepsy and his research into brain chemistry.
“This is what I face every day and how to manage my life with this disease. The act of ending [these pieces] is beating epilepsy. It’s not even the pieces themselves – it’s the process of creation and creation. This is how you win on this condition, ”he says. “The pieces are a glimpse of my mind. It’s about energy, complexity, what is organic, technology and the future combined. Technology saved my life. ”
Museum of Graffiti co-founder Alan Ket said Saber’s career and work combines art and activism, leaving an impact in his hometown of Los Angeles and beyond.
He, along with his team, AWR / MSK, helped turn LA into a wall destination, with dozens of paintings in the 2000s. Additionally, he presented himself as an activist using his voice and his art to fight for equal health care for all. He continues to push the boundaries stylistically with bold, new and abstract works, “Ket said.” Saber is now one of the first artists in the world to take advantage of illegal graffiti in ‘ symbolizing ‘a piece he made on a highway in Los Angeles. Fans and collectors alike rushed to grab this NFT and own a piece of illegal graffiti. . ”
Saber hopes visitors to “Escape From Los Angeles” challenge their preconceptions about what defines art, vandalism, and the huge gray area between them.
“When they see graffiti on the street, I want them to feel that there is a deeper story behind it,” says Saber. “The work itself shows the validity of the process. Think of the child behind the letters.”
The Graffiti Museum is the first institution to exhibit mainly the work of graffiti artists. Co-founder Allison Freidin said visitors to “Escape From Los Angeles” and other museum programs would be exposed to a perspective on public art that is often overlooked.
“Visitors come every day believing that graffiti is primarily gang related or associated with other extreme lawless behavior due to the stigma placed on the art form by government campaigns that have been accepted and promoted by the media, ”Freidin said. “There has never been an artist, let alone an institution, present over the past decades to tell the other half of the story. We are working to showcase the talent among the leaders of this art form. and draw attention to the pioneers who perpetuated a way of making our public places far more interesting than the mundane and subtle shades of beige or gray that you would otherwise see when looking on our streets. ”
“Saber: Escape from Los Angeles.” On view until mid-November, at the Museum of Graffiti, 299 NW 25th St., Miami; 786-580-4678; museumofgraffiti.com. Tickets cost $ 16; free for children under 13.