Sabers First

Sabers First, #3, 2023

Tanks in Traffic (Series)

Scrap metal and street signs

19 x 17 x 12 in.

As a cavalryman, I was taught the philosophy: Horse, Saddle, Saber, Man. This is the order of importance and should always be considered a priority in the Army. The Horse is your tank, Saddle is the equipment, Saber is your weapon, and Man is yourself. In the Army, one is taught that this is the triage of importance. Upon leaving the military and becoming a civilian, I realized this order was no longer relevant to my life. No longer in command of a tank and without my military equipment. I asked himself, “What is my saber? What is my weapon?” I adopted that art and my creations were my new weapons against the evils of this world. In this moment, I promised myself to always put art first to accomplish my mission in this world. This sculpture was forged with this energy, a reminder to always put your joy or “Saber” first.

Made of scrap metal, military components, and discarded street signs, this thought-provoking series of sculptures is an ode to my time spent in the military. These masked metal entities share commonalities, each unique in their own right. The inspiration for this series came to me while sitting in heavy traffic on the crowded Los Angeles highways. After leaving the military, sitting in traffic would often trigger post-traumatic stress, reminiscent of the slow-moving tanks in formation I once operated. Being an Artist who draws inspiration from my immediate surroundings, the shiny metal street signs lining the highway and the industrial components that accent the city planted the seed to create this unique series —born from a desire to self-heal and transmute these uncomfortable emotions, “Tanks in traffic” transforms hardship and affliction into beauty and art.