Askew One + Fintan Magee | Two artist Exhibition titled Oceanic Presented by RexRomae in London,UK

July 24 2014 . 12:16am

1_Oceanic-Flyer

For more information visit
www.askew1.com
www.fintanmagee.com
rexromae.com

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DENNIS MORRIS

July 13 2014 . 08:28pm


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Opening recap: SABER | THE UGLY AMERICAN at The Outsiders London

January 20 2014 . 12:24am


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LA-based graffiti artist SABER launched the second installment of his first European solo show The Ugly American at The Outsiders in London. Suffering from epilepsy and being denied healthcare, the politically engaged artist decided to voice some issues and battles for universal care by attacking and transforming iconic images of US and Union Jack flags, using found packing crates. Saber’s abstract paintings, made with layered collages and painted paper, combine harmoniously to form a delicate texture with his strong and powerful sharp signature lines.

Photo credit: Butterfly.

Recap from: Arrestedmotion.com

For more information visit:  Theoutsiders.net

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Interview: graffiti artist Saber

January 13 2014 . 10:58pm

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Scaling walls sans safety nets at the dead of night, graffiti artists risk life and limb to make their art. But the leap they make from street to gallery is just as tough a challenge in its way: in winning over the art world, they threaten the credibility as authentic outsiders that is their calling card. The consequence is a strange phenomenon: wealthy and successful artists such as Banksy who still slip out with their spray can and cling to their anonymity as a symbol of their rebelliousness.

For Saber, whose show The Ugly American opens at the Outsiders gallery in London’s Soho this week, the situation is a little different. Fired by a sense of social injustice, the Los Angeles-based artist has channelled his energy into a high-profile political activism that has left him nowhere to hide. In 2010, he attracted the opprobrium of the US right – including the wrath of Fox News – when he graffitied the Stars and Stripes in an effort to highlight the injustices of the US healthcare system. (The video he released was used by the US administration as part of its healthcare campaign.) A year later, he caused a sensation when he commissioned light aircraft to write slogans across the LA and New York skies that raged against cuts to the arts and against a new law censoring public murals.

To read the full article please visit: www.ft.com

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SABER | the ugly american

December 24 2013 . 09:07am

imageSABER

En garde for one of the biggest names in international urban art, when SABER’s The Ugly American exhibition starts the 2014 program at The Outsiders London gallery. The enormously well-received show was unveiled at The Outsiders Newcastle in late 2013, and travels to the capital by popular demand.

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 world’s largest piece of graffiti, interpretations of the usually sacrosanct Stars ʻnʼ Stripes, and using skywriting planes to daub politicised slogans above major US cities.

The exhibitions predominantly abstract works in spray paint, oils and charcoal also include both Saberʼs trademark Stars ‘n’ Stripes flags on stained wood – his “OldMath” series – and depictions of the UK’s Union Jack flag too. The artist’s on-going “BaseElements” works in an abstract graffiti style are also represented. The pieces come in the large-scale format Saber utilises regularly, and more manageable sizes.

“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.

Saber’s famed outdoor pieces are “about an unrepeatable spontaneous representation of the power of letters, movement and placement. I can’t bring those colours and gestures into a gallery. It’s not graffiti once it’s on the canvas.”

The gallery works, in contrast, he says “Have to be a beautiful painting. I want an average person who knows nothing about graffiti to say, “this is a beautiful painting” that’s 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 popularised 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 there’s 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 its going to be like when the NHS is fully privatised.”

The graffiti artist and painter known as Saber was born in Southern California in 1976. In 1997, over 35 nights, he painted officially the worldʼs largest piece of graffiti – his name, naturally, in a 250 feet by 55 feet section of the concrete banks of the Los Angeles river. In 2009 the piece was buffed over by US army engineers paid for by US federal stimulus money. Saber offered in person to paint it over himself, rather than use this method of funding: “I turned up with the official buffing colour paint and everything, but they just called the cops.”

In 2010 video clips of Saber painting depictions of US flags were picked up on by mainstream media outlets such as FOX News and MSNBC. While he was pilloried by the stations, the eloquent artist was given screen time to explain that “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 disease [epilepsy] of mine without health care.”

During 2011, at vast expense to himself, Saber arranged for sky-writing light aircraft to daub the skies over Los Angeles and Manhattan with political slogans. This most commonly concerned a notorious ban on murals legitimate or otherwise, and removal of government funding for the arts, often by a prospective Romney Presidency – for example, “#RomneyHatesArt”.

The Outsiders Gallery
8 Greek Street, Soho
London W1D 4DG United Kingdom
Ph. +44 (0)20 32140055
info@theoutsiders.net
www.theoutsiders.net

Opening hours
Tuesday – Saturday
11am to 7pm

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