B. 1953, Turkey
Ody Saban was born in Istanbul of Sephardic Jewish parents who had been relatively wealthy before World War II. But their property, like that of all Jews, was confiscated in 1941. Saban's parents divorced when she was 5 years old. Her mother remarried a well-known Moslem miniature and china restorer, who also was a musician and poet, and this man greatly influenced Saban's artistic development.
In 1969, she went to live on a kibbutz in Israel. She completed a course in art education in Haifa, but found she could not teach art to children in an academic manner. Furthermore, she didn't believe that art could be taught at all. She moved to Paris in 1977, organized two groups of self-taught female artists, and began exhibiting her own art. Although her work displays a tough and aggressive stream-of-consciousness outpouring, it is ultimately life-affirming. Her fascination with Subcomandante Marcos of Mexico's Zapatista National Liberation Army, who turned from guns and hand grenades to poems and manifestos, mark her as an artist with high ideals.
Saban’s work has been shown extensively, including solo exhibitions at Musée de la Création Franche (Bègles), Halle Saint Pierre (Paris), Musée d'Art Spontané (Brussels), and Centre d’Art Contemporain Abbaye Auberive. Saban's work can be found in many public and private collections, including the American Visionary Art Museum (Baltimore), the American Folk Art Museum (New York), Musée d'Art Spontané (Brussels), and the Collection de l'art brut (Lausanne).