Saber is in the UK preparing for his first Solo exhibition overseas at Lazarides Newcastle space The outsiders. The exhibition titled “The Ugly American” references a quote from a novel written in 1958. Being able to embrace the stigma of the ugly American saber sets out to engage this common stereotype while parallel to the common stereo type of graffiti. Saber utilizes these negative images of the American and graffiti through his use of the American flag and graffiti on canvas to create a new image. By embracing these powerful forms of image he engages the viewers and their perception of both. Only when you get closer can you start to see how fragile these images become as they start to crack and degrade allowing layers to protrude. This fragile nature juxtaposed with the brash imagery creates a powerful body of work. Saber is a post-historical artist who utilizes not the narrative of history but the narrative of what it is to be an American graffiti artist. His experience and witness allows him to create an authentic interpretation through his paintings. We cant wait to see the rest of the images here is a set of beautifully shot photographs from the talented Ian Cox. If you are in the UK don’t miss this show.


Artists: Saber
Location: The Outsiders Newcastle
Dates: Friday 6th of September 2013 to Saturday 5th of October 2013
En garde for one of the biggest names in international urban art, when Saber makes his European solo exhibition debut at The Outsiders Newcastle gallery this September. The swashbuckling American is noted for his success in making traditional graffiti styles relevant to a fine art gallery context – and his effortlessly provocative executions. The latter have included the worldʼs largest piece of graffiti, interpretations of the usually sacrosanct Stars ʻnʼ Stripes, and using skywriting planes to daub politicized slogans above major US cities. The exhibitionʼs predominantly abstract works in spray paint, oils and charcoal also include both Saberʼs trademark American flag and depictions of the Union Jack too. Painting organically, the artist recently flew from Los Angeles to Newcastle, seven weeks ahead of the exhibition, in order to create the entire body of work in situ at The Outsiders gallery. “My work is a continuation of certain graffiti styles developed in Southern California,” says Saber by way of description. “However, I have always been fascinated by how to adapt it for a gallery. His unique form of abstraction is the result of a 22 year journey as a graffiti artist, and consists of multiple layers of fragmented names, hand-styles, marks, shapes and
movements woven into deep layers of urban texture.

His famed outdoor pieces are “about an unrepeatable spontaneous representation of the power of letters, movement and placement. I
canʼt bring those colors and gestures into a gallery. Itʼs not graffiti once itʼs on the canvas.” The gallery works, in contrast, “Have to be a
beautiful painting. I want an average person who knows nothing about graffiti to say, ʻThis is a beautiful painting.ʼ Thatʼs the most important
thing to me.”

Saberʼs abstracts are painted while considering a theme – in this case, the Ugly American of the title. The phrase was popularized by
Eugene Burdick and William Ledererʼs 1958 novel of the same name. Made into a 1963 movie starring Marlon Brando, it concerns the
international perception of Americans both personally and politically. “Itʼs a reference to the excesses, and foul nature, that some believe Americans possess. Obviously this has similarities to modern Britain too, but… I come from this culture thatʼs so self-centered and self-preserved, and I want to expose the cracks in it,” says Saber. “Not just the endless wars, or PRISM and the treatment of Edward Snowden, but healthcare,” he adds, himself an epilepsy sufferer. “In America thereʼs no philosophy of preventative care. In the UK thereʼs an empathy directed towards the patient. In the US, you get ill and you lose your home. Iʼm a messenger for the future telling the British people what itʼs going to be like when the NHS is fully privatized.”