There are a lot of art books in my house. From time to time, I like to spend an afternoon just flipping through book after book. But there is one that I keep returning to time and time again: Laser 3.14’s Are You Reading Me. It’s been sitting on my desk for the last few months. Okay, so part of the reason it’s been there is that I keep meaning to write about the book here, but it’s also because I can flip through a few pages of Are You Reading Me? whenever I am looking for inspiration.
Usually, I like to read art books from cover to cover in the order they were intended, but Laser 3.14’s work defies that sort of logic. It’s more fun to just flip to a random page and see what he has to say. Laser 3.14 is a master of re-using found text and coming up with quick little thoughts that stick with you. His are some of the most interesting tags to come across in the real world, and having so many of them all together book in a book is a treat.
One more interesting thing about the photos in Are You Reading Me? is that they aren’t all taken 30 seconds after Laser 3.14 has finished his piece. A number of the images are of pieces that have been half-buffed or tagged over or even turned upside down when a piece of wood is re-used on a new hoarding. Street art is an ephemeral medium, and even though Laser 3.14’s artwork probably should be seen right-side-up and untagged, the reality is that the work does get messed with, and that’s acknowledged perfected in this book.
While not the easiest book to find outside of the Netherlands (where it was published), UPDATE: The book is now available for sale online and ships internationally. Are You Reading Me? is definitely something worth searching for if you are looking for a slightly different street art book.
Photo by andrevanb