Thursday, July 03, 2014

Read More Books, a cross-country tag, arrives in Shreveport on historic brewery, I-20 at I-49

The fluttering pages of a rudimentary book were recently painted atop one of Shreveport's most signal historic brick towers, the Shreveport Ice and Brewing Company building. It is probably not the graffiti of a local tagger. It is a symbol that has been painted on buildings coast to coast. "It has been part of the street scene in New Orleans for years," said a local source. It is the sign of a street writer or writers called Read More Books. says, "Juggling between countless names, monikers, and cities, remaining elusive and off the radar, READ has been an effective force behind the graffiti of Read More Books," in a Dec article.

Doug MacCash, arts writer for, recognized a wave of Read writing in New Orleans in a 2009 post in which he said, " Gaia, a Brooklyn street artist, said that though he doesn't know Mr. READ (aka Read More Books or The Booker), he believes that the ambitious tagger has hit San Francisco, Cleveland and New York, as well as New Orleans."

On the top of the 1904 Shreveport Ice and Brewing edifice there is an additional sign: a whistle. It is emblazoned with the initials WB. That may or may not refer to "whistle blower." Heliopolis's anonymous source added, "The whistle, which is also a national phenomenon, has been seen in downtown Shreveport recently."

MacCash continued, "As an art critic, I've always been ambivalent about reviewing graffiti. On one hand, most graffiti remains more antisocial that artistic. On the other, graffiti is very fashionable these days, and, let's face it, way more people see it than ever cross the threshold of an art gallery or museum."

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