The University of Iowa

Simon Morley to Read at Prairie Lights Bookstore – May 31, 2 PM

Next Saturday, Prairie Lights Bookstore will host Simon Morley, an Iowa-native turned Los Angeles street artist. Morley’s posters, plastered on the streets of Los Angeles and many other cities, feature bold text and simple designs often including an image of the artist himself. His new book, If You’re Reading This, There’s Still Time, gathers together in one place the posters which he has disseminated and includes essays with backstories for some of the posters.

"Morley" (as he signs his wheatpasted posters) graduated high school in Iowa City in 2010. He attended The School of Visual Arts in New York and has been featured in street art anthologies with artists such as Banksy and Kid Acne. Morley’s alternately sly and sweet aphorisms read like slightly off-color Hallmark cards. Much of his work promotes assurance and hopefulness like a note from a friend, and the artist supports this idea by including a simple drawing of himself on every poster, usually writing the words with a Sharpie. Rather than self-promoting, Morley has said that putting his face behind (or literally on) his work is his attempt to personalize the messages, forming a more intimate connection with his audience. In an interview with Dot Red LA, Morley explained his move from street to page by saying that street art in a gallery loses too much context. The book, he explains, “freezes the moment” for those encountering his work in what he hopes is a personal encounter.

 In his informal forward to If You’re Reading This, he wryly acknowledges the fact that there are “wittier wordsmiths and better illustrators in the world” but also that he creates these images in order to interface with the world, and never paused to consider if he was qualified to do it.

To learn more about Morley and his work, visit his blog:

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