Some graffiti artists want their art to promote their persona or brand. Others are simply addicted to the thrill of writing on public walls. With graffiti artist, eL Seed, the goal is to spread messages of peace and unity while underlining the commonalities of human existence.
“As a kid, I was into hip hop culture,” he relayed in a candid interview with Art Radar. “Graffiti was the natural medium for me to express myself in an artistic way. It became more and more a case of [me finding my] identity and reconnecting with my Arabic roots.”
A mixture of graffiti art and Arabic calligraphy, his artwork can be found all across the globe, anywhere from the façade of L’Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris and the favelas of Rio di Janeiro to the DMZ in between North and South Korea and the heart of Cairo’s garbage collectors neighborhood.
Born in 1981 in Paris to Tunisian parents, he utilizes Arabic calligraphy as a way to build a bridge between his French and Tunisian backgrounds. “I mix graffiti, which is a ‘western’ medium (although I don’t like to use this term) and Arabic calligraphy, which is an ancient eastern way of expression,” he says. “I think that’s the power of calligraphy and art in general. [They] bring two worlds together and link them. That’s why I feel that my work speaks for me.”
Follow his thought-provoking work on Instagram.