A piece of history is gone forever. RIP SABER LA river piece.

admin • Nov 12, 09 • ArtNo Comments


SABER’s historic LA River piece, the biggest illegal roller paintings in the world is no longer. What took over a year to complete was gone in just one day. Graffiti doesn’t have a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, but if it did, SABER would surely be found ruling the “Biggest” category. By the age of 21, SABER was already a living legend of Los Angeles graffiti when, in 1997, he executed the largest graffiti painting ever created, making his legend status global. After 97 gallons of paint and a year of carefully planned nights, he completed his painting along the sloping cement banks of the L.A. River, a colossal masterpiece measuring 250 x 55 feet—nearly the size of a football field.

Not that the size of the painting was the only obstacle: the riverbed was also a psychological test of its own. “The L.A. River is a last resort for homeless people,” SABER explains, “so there are some strange lurkers down there. Every now and again I would notice a frequent transient and say hello. Sometimes I would notice some guys getting hungry and they would cook up a dog. Dog smells like the worst cooked, rotten bacon ever. I would find leftovers every now and again, just a pair of dog legs. The L.A. River is about the survival of the fittest. I was always glad to be able to go home and shower and sleep comfortably.”

Every supply for the L.A. River painting had to be hauled over barbed wire and through gangland, then applied without attracting the attention of either the Amtrak or Los Angeles police departments, both of whom patrol the area from the ground and the air. Near the end, SABER blew out his knee working on the slanted surface, but persevered and completed the painting. His father crept into the desolate area across the river from the giant artwork, and after several chases from gangsters eager to relieve him of his camera, took photos of his son, striding across the surface of his own artwork. SABER is not a small guy, but he doesn’t even fill one of the small holes in the B at the center of his name. Check out www.saberone.com or www.swindlemagazine.com for more info on Saber and his historic attributes to the graff game…


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