Among the thousands of people who make up the graffiti/street art community around the world, there are few names that carry the same legendary quality as SABER. Born in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, SABER was raised by creative parents and discovered his passion for art at an early age. At 13, his cousins introduced him to graffiti when they took him to see the spray paint-covered Belmont Tunnel. From that moment on, he was hooked. After honing his skills on local walls, SABER joined MSK, and was later inducted into legendary piecing crew AWR.
SABER was already a fixture in the Los Angeles graffiti scene by 1997 when he completed the largest graffiti piece ever created. His piece on the sloping cement bank of the Los Angeles River was nearly the size of a professional football field, and took 125 gallons of paint and 35 nights to complete. In a famous photograph—taken by his father just after it was finished—SABER stands on the piece and appears as a tiny speck amid a giant blaze of color. It catapulted SABER to legend status in the graffiti world.
SABER began exhibiting in his fine art in 2002. His monograph, SABER: MAD SOCIETY, complete with stories of his graffiti misadventures, was released by Gingko Press in 2007 and has sold out its second printing. In October 2010, SABER released a video in which the year’s heated debate about health care was spray painted over the American flag. While some saw it as desecration, SABER advocated for health care reform in the video, revealing that he had epilepsy and was un-insurable. This work led SABER to create a large group of American flag paintings called the Tarnished series.