Sabe KST officially has the best blackbook, and here it is…

Sabe

For me, one of the most interesting writers in contemporary graffiti is Sabe KST. I have to give Faust credit for really turning me to on Sabe’s work, although I doubt that Faust realized he was introducing me to a writer whose work perfectly matched up with what I’d been interested in seeing from contemporary graffiti.

Credit goes to Evan Roth for introducing me to the idea that graffiti is a series of hacks. Graffiti is about re-purposing tools as much as re-purposing space. But modern graffiti writers have access to 1000 tools custom-made for them. Sabe not only continues the art of hacking together your own graffiti implements, but he brings that same energy and ingenuity into his legal work. For his paintings and drawings, Sabe creates custom motorized tools that give him an aesthetic that other artists can’t match, because they don’t have the tools to do so.

With his latest project, Anime Blackbook, Sabe has combined old-school animation with digital art and video art, something else I love to see from writers and street artists. Just watch:

Is that not one of the best possible digital displays of tags? Anime Blackbook works for the same reason that INSA’s GIF-ITI is so popular. It’s an eye-catching way to activate graffiti in digital space of endless scrolling. Actually, Sabe should probably convert each tag into a GIF.

Of course, Anime Blackbook is reminiscent of Graffiti Markup Language (GML)/#000000book/KATSU’s FatTag Deluxe and associated projects from F.A.T. Lab. In fact, I was surprised to find out that Sabe hadn’t simply used GML to capture everyone’s tags for this project.

Regardless of the underlying technology, which is what those F.A.T. Projects were really about, Sabe’s video is a new favorite of mine. By simply adding some music and cool backgrounds, he captures the unique vibes of each writer in the video, something that a tag on a blank background can’t do unless you’re acutely attuned to the intricacies of graffiti. The pairings are perfect. For the writers I know, they make sense, and for the writers I don’t, they immediately tell me something extra about them. Pixote’s tag makes sense on a rocky cliff. Sabio’s tag means something different against a forest. Of course Faust’s tag is set against skyscrapers, and KAWS’ name appears on some ethereal starscape. The idea behind Anime Blackbook is relatively simple, but so many good ideas are. With this piece, Sabe has captured something about writing and the people who write, and any fan of graffiti should be able to appreciate that.

For more about Anime Blackbook, check out Animal’s brief interview with Sabe.

PS, the full list of writers included in the video is… JOZ, EASY, VEEFER, CES, SKUF, RIME, VIZIE, NEKST, WANE, JEST, SACER, ARK, NOV, SYE5, PIXOTE, SABIO, KADISM, RASAD, END, AMUSE126, SEGE, HOUND, KORN, DCEVE, SNOEMAN, CINIK, FAUST, YEAR, REHAB, AKS, REMO, NEMZ, FORES, SHAUN, GUESS, REAS, ESPO, KAWS, LEWY, ADEK, MALVO, KATSU, DAYS, GUNS, OPTIMIST, RESQ, BEGR, PEAR, ZOMBRA, PHAT2, UDON, NUNO, FANTA, TOM246, WANTO, QP, VERY, and SABEKST. Also, the film was produced by Sabe KST with animation direction by Celia Bulwinkel and a soundtrack by Trouble Andrew/Gucci Ghost.

Screenshot from Anime Blackbook by Sabe KST

Weekend link-o-rama

"Órbita" by David de la Mano and Pablo S. Herrero. Click to view the full piece.
“├ôrbita” by David de la Mano and Pablo S. Herrero. Click to view the full piece.

Slow week, but that doesn’t mean nothing good happened. Here’s some of it…

  • Love this drawing by Pixote.
  • It seems that Hrag Vartanian was not a big fan of Les Ballets De Faile, Faile’s project with the New York City Ballet. Personally, I really liked to the project. Yes, Hrag is right in pointing out that people were expecting more (like Faile having involvement with set design and costumes), but what Faile did do was, I think, a major success. Nine artists out of ten would have seriously messed up this sort of collaboration by not striking the right balance between completely ignoring the setting and embracing it too much. Ignore the setting, and the work could just have been shown anywhere and would have looked out of place. Go too far in trying to bend the work to the situation, and the artists’ essence is lost and the whole thing comes off as a cheesy joke. Faile struck just the right balance. There was a lot of classic Faile, mixed in with some new ballet-inspired imagery, but the ballet-inspired imagery didn’t look out of place at all. Faile’s work has always had a mix of grit and classical beauty, that ballet with their spin fit perfectly into that. I’ve got to disagree with Hrag on another point and say that I thought the work looked like it fit in just as well as anything else in the theater, particularly the massive “Tower of Faile” piece.
  • Thoughts on Crummy Gummy? I’m not sure what I think. Another Mr. Brainwash-inspired derivative artist who never needs to be mentioned again, or actually kinda funny?
  • Zoer has a new print out.
  • Kid Acne made some scarves that are now for sale with his “art fag” character on them.
  • The British Zeus had a solo show open this week at London’s Graffik Gallery. It’s open through the 21st.
  • Ever wanted to design a t-shirt using D*face’s logo? Now you can, and you can win $500 and a print for your efforts.
  • Great new piece by Seacreative.
  • It’s exciting to see strong murals going up in South Delhi, India.

Photo courtesy of David de la Mano and Pablo S. Herrero

Weekend link-o-rama

Awer in Berlin. Click to view large.

It’s a mega link-o-rama this week because I’ve been traveling from last Saturday until Thursday morning.

Photo by Awer