None of Reads art was stolen.
  • None of Read's art was stolen.
The gallery had just opened the first sanctioned solo exhibition of nationally peripatetic street artist Read. Were the haters protesting the art? Lawrimore says he has no idea. They didn't steal anything. If they were protesting graffiti with an act of vandalism, that's some oxymoronic business.

Read, who attended the opening quietly and spoke with a soft voice, filled the gallery with prints, collages, and a large wall work with the word "READ" climbing up to the high ceilings—the letters looking like they've been already begun to be painted over by graffiti cleanup teams.

His work has all the marks of typical tough-guy graffiti, but with an edge that's surprisingly radiant and warm. Edges flicker with life. Jokes are friendly. The sheer love of fonts and printing—and you know, reading—is totally evident.

The installation is set up like a cross between a boutique, a bodega, and a street scene with newspaper boxes covered in the words "read" and "ready." One painting, made on a collage of gold foils from cigarette boxes, looks like a sign that might have appeared on a European apothecary a hundred years ago. Another grid collage is stitched together lovingly, and prints hanging on a rack as though they're still drying.

Poor Lawrimore Project—the gallery's been the victim of disaster twice in two years. In August 2009, an overnight fire burned an SBC artwork to cinders. At least this time the show goes on.