Daily Surge caught up with street artist Sabo, the man behind the famous Ted Cruz “Blacklisted and Loving It Tour” poster.
“I find it hard to believe that 25 posters made the noise they made around the country,” he told us. “As far as my supporting Cruz with my art, it would be more accurate to say he has enough qualities for me to stand by. It’s not my nature to do ‘pro’ pieces, but he was strong enough for me to back.”
What’s it like being the only conservative street artist in Los Angeles?
“My aim as an artist is to be as dirty, ground level, and mean as any liberal artist out there — more so, if I can. Use their tactics, their methods, appeal to their audience — the young, urban, street urchins with a message they never hear in a style they own.
“We need to stop worrying what the Left thinks about us. We need to stop allowing them to define us. We need to stop attacking each other. I don’t like racists and idiots any more than anyone else. So I don’t allow them to paint me as one. It sucks that I have to say that I’m not a racist; I’m not a homophobe, and I don’t hate women.”
What inspired you to create the Ted Cruz image?
“Marilyn Monroe inspired me. I have a buddy on the beach who does paintings of her tattooed. I once asked him why he doesn’t show it in street art galleries. He said he doesn’t put his work on the street, so they don’t accept his work. I remembered we’d been talking about Senator Cruz during meetings, so I figured I’d mess around with the image. I showed it to some people I knew; the opinions were lukewarm, so I thought I’d move forward with it on my own without anyone’s blessing.”
How did you find out about Ted Cruz signing your poster?
“I was there when he signed it. Not in the room. He had a few we’d printed. He signed one, then had one of his aids hand it to me. It was cool, but at my age, I don’t get too jacked up at things like this.”
What kind of responses have you had on the Boss Cruz image?
“The responses have been great. With the exception of the ‘progressive’ attack dogs, it’s been all good. They were just trying to tie me to the hip of Senator Cruz in hopes of making him look bad. Senator Cruz doesn’t know me; he never looked through my portfolio; he didn’t ask for my help, and I didn’t ask for his permission.”
“Why not? I stopped to think about it once to find that my family doesn’t only have a ton of creative people in it, it always has. I love creating things, especially by any means necessary. Both sides of my brain work fairly well in what I do. I write code: CSS, HTML, some PHP. I make money building and designing sites. I even appreciate the code in a creative way. What turned me on first was Advertising Concept Design. I studied at the Art Center in Pasadena where I learned about how to appeal to a specific demographic. I felt that was both scientific and creative. I loved ad work. It’s a shame I didn’t pursue it as a career. I’m not dead yet, though.”
How would you describe your Art?
“Mean. It took me a long time to actually hang it in my apartment. Thank God my neighbors know me because they know I’m not my work. I’d hope they see me as a nice guy. My work is not nice guy work. I’d describe my work as graphic in nature that finds its way on the street because in that way, I can force people to see it.
“It’s highly political, obviously. I think it’s funny how galleries love Shepard Fairey or Banksy’s politics, but God forbid a Republican artist tries submitting a piece. Often times I hear, ‘No, it’s too political.’ But Shep’s or Bank’s work, that’s not a problem.”
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
“Get a fake name so you can speak freely about everything. In your work make as few friends as possible, so they don’t get in the way. This is a great path to pure, honest work and loneliness. We spend our lives having the media, entertainers, and musicians telling us who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Screw college, go online to find the artists that interest you, copy them until you find your own voice. Find what you want to do it the first step, and it’s a big one but finding your voice is everything.”
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.
Send this to friend