Earlier this month we proudly launched an MTN Limited Edition dedicated to the artist and graffiti writer Saber MSK AWR. It is the second exclusive can from the Angeleno after the first collaboration with Montana Colors that came out exactly 15 years ago. To promote the release, we posted a short “Reel” on our official Instagram account that included energetic statements from Saber in which he updated us on the current status of his work. Today we are bringing you the full interview that, as you probably expect, is well worth reading.

Who is Saber?
So I’m walking down the street and this kid walks up to me, this random kid. And it’s busy. There are buses going by, helicopters everywhere. And I’m sitting there trying to get to the store, and this kid just stops me and he says, “What are you writing?” I go, “What do you mean what am I writing?” Like “Who are you? What am I writing? I’m Saber.” He goes, “You’re Saber? Bullshit.” I go, “What do you mean, bullshit? Who are you?” He says, “I don’t know. That’s not important. I asked you.” And I’m sitting here going like, “How is this kid just stopping me in the middle of the street asking me, ‘Who the fuck are you?'”
So I’m sitting there and I say alright, “Well, I’m Saber. Nice to meet you.” And he goes, “Well, can you quickly talk us through your artistic evolution?” I go, “Are you serious? That’s a big fucking question right here. ‘Can you quickly talk us through your artistic evolution?'” Damn. Wait a minute. So I’m sitting right here on the street, with this kid standing here, and you want me to talk about my artistic evolution? Well, fuck if you look around you, everything is moving. Everything doesn’t stop moving. Everything is written on. Everything is scratched and everything is an advertisement. Everything’s building. Everything’s falling apart. Everything’s crumbling. Everything’s growing. I’m still part of my own evolution. I don’t know what the fuck it is. I’m just some dude and I can’t stop riding on shit. My artistic evolution is I have to continue to see paint moving and growing. I have to see colours blending. I have to see that movement that I experience on the street and in my head. I have to see it come out of my hands. It has to come out of my fingers. I have to materialize that vision that I see in my head. And that relates to the moment which is right now, which is the future: 2022. Here we are. Is that enough? I mean fuck, what else do you want to know, bro? I’m busy. Shit. Like, fuck. It’s an intriguing question, but what else do you want to know?

So what am I trying to transmit in my work? Inspiration. A fucking dose of dopamine. What’s up? Get that dose. That’s what you need, because we got to keep moving. We got to keep making work. That’s what’s important to me. We have to keep pushing. We have to keep writing. We have to keep scratching. We have to keep spraying. Keep spraying.

“From my graffiti pieces to my current artwork?”
Fuck, dude. It’s all the same. I’m trying to continue the same process. It just happens to land on a canvas. It just happens to land in the sky. It happens to land on a window. Scratch the fuck into it. That’s what it is. I just need to continue. There’s only a short amount of time. I’m only going to be alive for so much longer. Life moves fast. I need something that’s left behind. Anything. Even if it’s a story and it comes out in paint. That’s it. It has to come out in paint. So there is no real current process. I mean, the process is what that is, that evolution. I like to use different materials, and spray paint is the core material that I continue to use.
Fuck, I’m busy. What’s up? Is that good enough? Wait, you have another one? Shit. Okay.

Do you think there is an artistic impulse within all graffiti writers? How do you achieve evolution from writer to artist?
Okay, so, we’re sitting here in the middle of the street and I have to come up with this really crazy… There is this very simple answer, right here.

“Do you think there is an artistic impulse within all graffiti writers?
Just to eat… Of course…Okay. That’s kind of insulting in a sense because art is everything that’s created. So there is no artistic…there IS an artistic impulse. There is no separation between the two. It exists within itself. Yes, there is an artistic impulse. And if anybody denies that, they’re denying the fact that they’re creative beings. So, of course there is an artistic impulse within graffiti writers. Absolutely there is. That’s the only way it comes out. It came out in that form. That’s the most important thing is that we are engaged in that artistic impulse. We just have to spray on shit. Like, hey, you know, the sound of glass when you scratch into it is so soothing to me. When you see a flare, and it whips, and you get that perfect little whip from that flare, like there’s there’s nothing better. When I spray something and it just drips all the way down, that’s the artistic impulse. It really doesn’t get better than that. It doesn’t.

How do you achieve evolution from writer to artist?
There is no evolution. Living is the evolution. If you continue to create as you live, that’s the evolution.
Okay, fuck. Busy. Damn. This kid is sitting here asking me these intriguing, deep questions. There’s all this shit going on. And I want to give him some nice answers. But at the end of the day, it’s like, “Fuck, I have to think about these. Dude. You’re asking me these crazy questions. Okay, obviously you know who I am. Fine. I’ll continue because it’s intriguing, because they are actually smart questions. So obviously, you know who I am. So, cool. Well, all right. So you have another one. Okay.

What are you trying to transmit with your art? What role does gesture play in your works?
What the fuck am I trying to transmit in my art? Energy. I’m trying to electrocute you. I’m trying to send a dose of inspiration and dopamine your way! Let’s get some dopamine, homie. What’s crackin’? That’s what we need. Let’s not do the crack. But let’s do the dopamine. I need to spray some shit. We all love to spray on shit. That’s it. We need to spray on shit. I’m trying to transmit energy. Fuck beige. That’s it? Fuck beige. We need to smash beige. Beige. Fuck beige. We have to smash beige. We have to smash beige. Fuck beige. We can use it and tweak it. But fuck beige. That’s what I’m trying to transmit. Fuck beige and fuck only seeing advertisements in our lives. We need to see raw energy on the streets. We need to see real movement. And that’s what we’re doing. That’s what this is. When I see something, when I go somewhere and I see somebody who actually hit a spot that’s just like crazy, or actually tried to do a little extra glare in their fucking piece. You know…Oh shit, this kid did a fucking billboard. And he pulled off like a 10-color Wildstyle. Damn. These kids are crazy. You know what I’m saying? It doesn’t get any better than that. It really doesn’t.
So what am I trying to transmit in my work? Inspiration. A fucking dose of dopamine. What’s up? Get that dose. That’s what you need, because we got to keep moving. We got to keep making work. That’s what’s important to me. We have to keep pushing. We have to keep writing. We have to keep scratching. We have to keep spraying. Keep spraying.

Does gesture play a role in your work?
Well, fuck yeah, gesture plays a role in my work. It’s like Street Fighter: a straight Hadouken..Like, Hadouken! Boom! Sent your way a little dose. Like that’s what that is: It’s straight movement. It’s Tai Chi, motherfucker. That’s what that is. Gesture is key. And that plays that universal role between calligraphy, between dance..between…All those movements within letters all play a role. And how they walk, how they move, how they pose…Gesture is key. Gesture, movement is key. Flow. Flow is important. Flow. Composure. Raw energy. I want my shit straight scratching that shit. I want it so far out that you don’t even know what it is when you’re looking at it. That’s what matters to me. The gesture is one of the most important roles. Gesture in graffiti is the most important role because you’re using letters, and letters are all gestures. They are all keystrokes. So we’re masters of the keystrokes. Gesture is key. Mastering gesture is the number one role and the only way to master those gestures is to use the tools that we have. And those tools now are the best that there are. There’s nothing better right now. We didn’t have those tools when we started. Now we have all these amazing tools.
Okay, where are we at? Number five. Okay, so this kid saw we’re still here. I’m still.. We’re still busy. We still have a lot happening. And I have one more. So okay, so damn this kid knows it.

This is your second limited edition with MTN after 15 years. How does it feel? How does it feel to have a second can?
Well, shit. Fuck, how does it feel? It feels good. Fifteen years later, to 2022. We made it. Already killed all nine lives but was given an extra six. So this can is a little momento, you know? This little can is a little homage to those 15 years, I guess. It’s a little benchmark on a calendar that says we made it 15 years later. Still alive. Still painting. Still pushing graph. It’s important. We’re still trying to keep pushing art, pushing graph, pushing. I think the cans are cool, the whole thing.
I hope you guys get enough out of this shit. Just keep in mind that I’m being fucking zapped by the side of my throat by a machine called a VNS (“Vegas Nerve Stimulator”) and it zaps the fuck out of me. It keeps me from having seizures. One of the reasons why I have seizures is because of the spray paint. But early on I didn’t care. So I just inhaled as much spray paint as I could fucking drink. Basically, now I am paying the price for it by having serious seizures. So the fact that I can still paint and still stay alive and keep moving is what matters. And I mean, I’m not going to stop until… I’m never going to stop. That’s it. I’m never going to stop.

Saber 2022.
MSK Mad Society Kings
Art Work Rebels, Los Angeles

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