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Arabic Graffiti - Calligraphy's Newest Form

Arabic calligraphy has always been an esteemed art form in Islamic civilization, adorning the walls of mosques and centers of learning throughout the Muslim world historically, as well as gracing the covers of books, glassware and even bowls and plates with verses from the Quran prophetic traditions, and lines of poetry.

Verses from the Quran adorning the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem.

Verses from the Quran adorning the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem.

A new, modern manifestation of such calligraphy has started to become popular in our times in the form of Arabic graffiti - or 'calligraffiti', as one modern day artist deemed it - blending calligraphy's traditional focus on Arabic letters with the modern art forms of graffiti and murals.

One of the most famous artists of this form is the Tunisian born eL Seed.  Here are some of his works:
elseed calligraphy

elseed rainbow


eL Seed's work, and this unique style of Arabic graffiti, has become so popular that it's even been incorporated into mainstream fashion-- Louis Vuitton has recently collaborated with eL Seed on a new line of scarves and other products.

Scarf from Louis Vuitton Scarf from Louis Vuitton's Foulards d'Artistes line


One can see this style becoming increasingly popular in headscarves with printed Arabic lettering and typography, as seen in this lovely scarf. hijab style

Such work is certainly a step away from the traditional, but brings a certain life to the Arabic written word that is engaging and interesting.

What do you think about this trend?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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Friday, 22 November 2019
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