With irreverent strokes and surreal imaginations, these five graffiti artists invent ballads and anthems for untold worlds–each with a visual language all their own.
2. A1one (Iran): A pioneer street artist in Tehran, A1one started as a stencil artist in 2003 when nobody in his country knew what graffiti was. “For me these were just words; I was feeling a big, young power in my soul pushing me on”, he says. His artwork and concerns lead him to settle down in Germany, taking his unique Persian artwork worldwide through the US, France, Canada and Australia.
3. Alaa Awad (Egypt): Drawing on pharaonic iconography, Alaa Awad came from Luxor to transform Cairo’s post-revolutionary roadblocks. His creatures, hybrids of ancient icons and contemporary motifs, enliven the city’s walls with astonishing portrayals of the national state of mind.
4. El seed (Tunisia): Born into a Tunisian family in France, el Seed crafts intricate compositions that play with Arabic calligraphy not only in terms of its meaning, but also in terms of its movement, calling his artwork “Calligraffiti”. His masterful compositions seduced the luxury French fashion house Louis Vuitton, which incorporated his designs in its Foulardes d’Artistes collection.
5. Dihzahyners (Lebanon): Recognized worldwide for having brought Beirut’s dim staircases to life in a wholly original way, this group of young artists set out to radically change Lebanon’s urban landscape. Their recent event ‘Waiting for the Train’ creatively explores the aspirations of a person engaged in such a wait.