Thursday, May 6, 2010

Laser 3.14

Over the past couple of months in Amsterdam, I have been playing a little game. I'm not sure if I'm playing this game by myself, or with the artist involved, or perhaps a number of other people in this town are also playing this game. But maybe that's the artist's whole point.

It all started when I first spotted a really interesting slogan spray-painted on a construction hoarding. "No Bearded Guy in My Sky".

That's pretty deep.

And then I started spotting more and more of the same kind of graffiti - slightly twisted, with a hint of darkness in its words, and all spray-painted in the same kind of handwriting, always signed off with "Laser 3.14" on the top.

Sometimes his/ her words made me laugh.

Sometimes they made me wonder what he/ she was smoking.

(Other people have sprayed over his words - "As we tumble down the rabbit hole")

Sometimes they made me wonder if he/ she is a little bit sad.

"A harvest of broken dreams"

It seems like construction hoardings aren't the only things Laser 3.14 would target. This piece of construction cloth was also not spared.

"She feared his gloved hands"

A few days later, the construction site had put up wooden hoardings over the yellow cloth, and guess who was back in action? (The pix below are at the same construction site)

("Ich habe es nicht gewusst" means "I did not know" in German. I wonder which modern day genocide he's referring to now? ...Or maybe it's not a genocide Laser's referring to. If not, then... what?)

And on the other side, Laser also made him/ herself comfy:

"How over-tolerance shot itself in the foot"

All of Laser 3.14's words are ALL OVER Amsterdam. I'd be on the tram further away from the city centre, when we'd pass by another familiar scrawling on an unfamiliar wall. Every single time, it would be a different phrase... But always a little dark and twisted, a little humourous, and always a little deep (well, deep to me, at least).

I am a Laser 3.14 fan!

So... imagine my surprise one day when I walked past an art gallery and spotted something hanging in there that looked vaguely familiar.

HOLY MOLY! An entire gallery of Laser 3.14's artworks, BEYOND GRAFFITI!

So I got chatting with the gallery owner and found out that Laser 3.14 is an anonymous artist who is based here in Amsterdam. Of course he/ she has a cult following. And a website. And Laser 3.14's artworks have a bit of a surreal edge to them too. I feel like buying a piece!

I love living in a place where you can discover such little nuggets.


  1. That is super cool... thanks for sharing the pics!

    (didn't get to comment on the last post- you're too fast- love the dogs!!)

    I'm going to check out the website now.

  2. Ha! I guess I'm making up for the silent week last week!

    I love reading the interviews and articles with Laser 3.14 on his/ her site. The anonymity adds to its "coolness". Laser 3.14 is like Amsterdam's Banksy!

  3. hi Skippetty
    that's really catchy, that it's an actual artist. in SF, some enterprising Venezuelans owned a grocery store in the Tenderloin, a rough area. rather than have grafiti artists ruin the side, they hired them to paint a gigantic artwork. it changed each year and usually had an aztec indian theme. i thought it was cool. come to think of it, they probably had the permission of the city as public art.

    i'm here waiting for movers. i think my junk increased by at least by two suitcases in 2 months. (there were no beddings and few appliances here.) the area of all the stuff put together covers the space of at least three practice rugs side by side. haha.


  4. WOW DUDE! What have you been buying?! ...actually, I should talk. I'm looking at the growing pile of clothes and books and wondering "how am I ever gonna bring all of that back in a 25kg weight-limit suitcase?" And then I realize I can always ship some stuff back to Cape Town. HAHAHA.

    OK - I need to practice non-attachment to "stuff" now, perhaps do another round of spring cleaning!

    Also - I like your story about the grocery store. If you can't beat em, join em! Very clever indeed.

  5. well, i bought beddings because there were none. then a porridge pot and rice cooker, because there were none. then racks and things in which to put my sweaters and t-shirts, because there were none. it's like a song. it's like i'm outfitting an aparment that will appear in the future. haha. however, i do have problems giving up things. and then again not, since i gave 1/3 of my belongings back in California to a friend to sell and keep the money. i'm just complex i guess. or life is.


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