Interview: EWOK

One time I had this conversation where we evaluated people’s graffiti by the sounds their particular style would make. The consensus was that SABER’s pieces would sound like the guitar part at the beginning of Slayer’s Seasons In The Abyss.

SABER’s work continues to grow into more personal, introspective realms as he evolves. If you liked what you heard when you saw your first SABER piece, wait until he drops his greatest-hits album.

Why don’t you start by giving a little bit of history.
I started painting in 1990 and met some good friends, which led to becoming the crew AWR and MSK. So basically SEVER, REVOK, EKLIPS and various others are all my affiliates through growing up here. It’s six degrees of separation, really. It’s our will to paint that keeps us together.

You guys have remained intact for how many years now?
Wow…I dunno. I met REVOK in ’96, so that’s when I started painting with him. I think SEVER I met in ’97 or ’98.

Somewhere in there you transitioned from graffiti to where we are right now, in the studio making prints and fine art.
I’ve always felt the need to explore different areas and mediums. Even before painting graffiti, I always drew and painted—landscapes, skateboard graphics, stuff like that. Actually, doing art is what got me into doing graffiti, and graffiti is what led me to try and push further and push harder.

Talk about the print you’re currently making here in LA at Modern Multiples with Richard Duardo.
Right now I’m doing serigraph prints that are made up of about 15 different screens…maybe more, who knows. I guess we’ll find out when we finish it. It’s a representation of a mural that I painted about a week ago [pictured above]. So I go paint the mural and then get in the studio and get messy in there, too. It’s just the way to express yourself in both ways and be professional, in that both take a lot of time and energy to make them look nice. I like pushing myself to the brink.

SABER'S Flag

Are you comfortable coming in here and working around the presses and other machinery?
Absolutely. Anything involved with the creative process I feel comfortable with. I even had shitty jobs like faux-finishing for Chevy’s restaurants and all sorts of weird shit like that. I just enjoy paint. It makes me feel like I’ve done something that day.

What else has been going on with you lately?
One is this little controversy with Fox News and this print I produced here at Modern Multiples. It was a flag. I’ve been steering towards a political edge, to a certain degree. I care a lot about the healthcare issue because of my current condition. That was one thing that led me to a whole new path—painting a flag—which is something that I never considered before.

But I’m not done painting graffiti, I’m just trying to fine-tune what I’m doing now. There’s always more painting to be done.

Did you have any idea the flag piece would be so controversial?
No, I didn’t have any idea that it would get to where it was. It got pretty gnarly with some of the responses. I’ve had a few death threats. These right-wing fuckin’ conservative nutjobs have homed-in on me online as a target for spilling their hatred. It’s pretty interesting when I go through the web and see what’s going on. It’s pretty interesting that it went that far, that it traveled the entire sphere of the Internet on that side. These people really care about that shit, and they really don’t like us!