Graffiti Artist Defends the Arts Against Romney With NYC Skywriting

Photo: Animal NY

L.A.-based graffiti artist Saber has a bone to pick with Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential candidate who assumes that 47% of Americans are freeloaders has vowed to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, NPR and the PBS if elected, which is kind of a dick-ish thing to do.

To protest these proposed cuts and to get out the anti-Romney vote Saber hired several jets to sky-type his “Defend The Arts” message along with others in New York on Sunday bringing a new meaning to the term “getting up.”

UPDATE: Mass Appeal’s Sacha Jenkins SHR spoke to Saber about his aerial art protest over the phone:

Mass Appeal: Why skywriting in New York?

Saber: Why New York? Because New York is the art capital of the world.  If you’re gonna make a splash, why not in New York?

You put up some noted New York graffiti folk along with the overall message.

The campaign wasn’t geared towards graffiti, but if i can squeeze it in somehow I’m going to do it. If it wasn’t for guys like Iz The Wiz and Stay High 149 there wouldn’t have been guys like me and the rest of MSK on the West Coast doing what we do. Stay High and Sacer were friends of mine and I was proud to have their names hang high over their fair city.

There were some comments on line about how the arts and government support have nothing to do with one another; that a campaign that looked to keep such a relationship going–which is the opposite of what Mitt Romney is looking to pop off–is a stupid campaign. Oh yeah, they said “fuck you!” (Saber) and “fuck Obama.” Thoughts?

“They” are a bit naive. I didn’t put Obama’s name in the sky. If i had to choose I’d go with Obama, but I’m not necessarily happy about that. BUT he did get me healthcare. Look, without the WPA (The Works Progress Administration — the most ambitious New Deal agency, which operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects) we wouldn’t have some of the amazing fine art works and murals we Americans have received because of the WPA. So I’m not just speaking out on behalf of “graffiti”, I’m speaking out on behalf of the arts in general. If Mitt has his way funding for PBS and other important arts programs will go away.

How did  the skywriting get paid for?

I had some “friends” help me pay for it. BUT it wasn’t ‘Occupy’ who helped pay for it. It was entities like Juxtapoz and Obey and Upper Playground and Seventh Letter, my dear friend Retna and others. People really stepped up.

Check out some pics of the pics of the skywriting below and watch a video interview with Saber explaining his motivations courtesy of Frank151

Photo: Frank 151 via Instagram


Photo: Johnny Killeface via Instagram


Photo: Animal NY


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