August 16, 2019 4

el Seed and Aya Tarek discuss calli-graffiti – السيد وآية طارق عن الجرافيتي

el Seed and Aya Tarek discuss calli-graffiti – السيد وآية طارق عن الجرافيتي

Aya, oh Aya…
Aya, oh Aya… Who do you think this song is for?
It’s for you. I was a business consultant
in the past. I used to draw and paint
over the weekend. I managed to develop my
work step by step and through social media I was able to do
what people used to pay to do before I’ve been working on this painting for over
a week and it’s not coming through. – This one?
– Yes. – You painted it on a canvas.
– I don’t like it. Hold this for a second. You see that. We do this.
That’s what people never see from me. I work mostly on the street in Tunisia and France hopefully in Egypt soon, also in the US
and many other countries I always use Arabic calligraphy
and I write a message. It’s never just about design.
There’s always a message and it must be relevant to the local community where I’m making my work. For instance, I went to Tunisia in
the summer to work on a project We travelled through the country, and
talked to people about their problems Based on these conversations, we
spent a couple of days there and created murals about the
topics they suggested Do you do the same thing
when you travel abroad? Yes, and I never translate the message
to English or French I only write in Arabic although some people
complain that they can’t understand it But, most of us couldn’t understand what
Michael Jackson was singing in the eighties We could still enjoy the music even when
we didn’t understand the lyrics It’s the same with calligraphy, you can
enjoy it on the visual and spiritual levels I feel that the media refuses to
accept that graffiti work from the Middle East and Arab
countries is different from the work made by street
artists in the West. Do you feel that media outlets
sometimes misrepresent your work? I’m a Tunisian artist, who makes
graffiti and street art works in Arabic So Western media tends to present
a romanticized image of me as a revolutionary
graffiti artist A revolution happened in Tunisia, which is
great because we’re rebuilding [our country] We are in a state of revolution as long
as we’re building a new Tunisia But one’s work doesn’t always have to
be about the revolution You might want your graffiti to reflect
a particular problem in your neighborhood – Come watch this
– We’ll become enemies… No, never When we worked together in
Frankfurt, you mentioned that – your calligraphy style is unique
– Yes, it is Would you tell us a bit about how you
developed that style? Until 2000, I spoke the Tunisian dialect,
but couldn’t read or write in Arabic So I started studying Arabic in the evening
while in Paris and I learnt calligraphy A professor told me that I was the
only one who wanted to study So he could not start a
class just for me. I started practising on my own, copying
the styles and adding colors The more I did it, I started thinking why
not make the letter ‘B’ longer and curved and why not add colors
or something like that? I didn’t know the rules of
Arabic calligraphy at first I learnt about them at a later stage, and
some people told me I had to follow them I said no. I don’t want
to learn that I’d rather do what I do So if I feel that I should paint the
letter ‘B’ two meters long I wouldn’t feel pressured to
follow the standard rules I like to follow my intuition while working
on a mural. I might even do it freestyle That’s it. And then step by step, you
develop your own style and people begin to follow your work.
That’s it Many young people in the region think that
graffiti is just about tagging and throw-ups the American old-school
type of graffiti but I’ve noticed that they’ve become
excited about styles like yours which mix graffiti with calligraphy
and have a strong sense of identity rather than just copying
traditional graffiti styles Do you sense this
as well? I think that this idea has
changed over the years Many people here wanted to create works
similar to what’s made in New York or Europe But one needs to be proud of
his culture, history and roots One can take parts of his culture and history
and work with them in their graffiti pieces and we need to build on that,
build on what we have We don’t need to check on YouTube what
artists in the Bronx did three years ago. because they’ve already done it Create something new This is the message.
That’s it Oh, Aya Tarek

4 Replies to “el Seed and Aya Tarek discuss calli-graffiti – السيد وآية طارق عن الجرافيتي”

  • Louie dela cruz says:

    Im a big fan of elSeed. much respect to the guy. im not arab and i dont understand Arabic writing, but the way he said it, you dont have to understand to appreciate, i somehow felt that way the first time a saw his calligrafitti. there is more to it than just a stroke and as a form of art. it reaches out in a very spiritual and very involving way.

  • Adam Semat says:

    مرجلة هاد الزبلة

  • غسان الشجيري says:

    عمل جميل جداً

  • Zainab OMAR-alomar says:

    والله أنك رائعة جدا زمثقفة وهوايتك صعبة جدا نفسي اتعلمه وطز بالمتخلفين اللي عم بيقولوا هاد ولد ولا بنت

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