Graffiti artists are an icon in street culture. From simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, they have existed since ancient times. Early examples date back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire but most are more familiar with its spray can counterpart. These days every city has buildings with colourful graphics on its surface and various tags in its alleys for everybody to enjoy. In Amsterdam one artist in particular can be found all over the city: the street poet Laser 3.14.
Laser 3.14’s art can be found covering construction sights in all boroughs of Amsterdam. Utilising the city as his canvas, turning his poetry into street art. His name, Laser 3.14, is a reference to science fiction with 3.14 a.k.a. PI abbreviating Public Interests, referring to his socially critical short graffiti tags. He roams the streets of Amsterdam with new pieces appearing regularly to this day. An iconic sight in Amsterdam and something to look out for when visiting the city.
Laser 3.14’s passion for graffiti began in the early '80s when he was greatly inspired by early writers like Ego, Dr Smurry, Dragon, Collodi, Tarantula; all from Amsterdam.
In ‘84 he attended graphic school in Amsterdam. Here he met the brother of Harakiri, an artist who he, and many others, considered an old-school graffiti king. He taught Laser the ins and outs of tagging and much of what he knows today.
Around the early '90s he began sketching and producing comics, illustrating, and writing poetry. Experimenting in this manner led him to showcasing much of what was produced. Towards the end of the '90s he ran into an artistic impasse and felt the need to re-ignite a creative spark he felt had been lost. As a result, he went back to his roots: graffiti writing. It was at this point he began to
An important aspect in his work is the boundary between the illegal and legal character of his street art. His work is mainly to be found on pieces of wood that are used to block off building or renovation sights in Amsterdam. Laser plays with these temporary non-aesthetic places, creating an exciting game of composition within the city and his art.