In the Middle East, graffiti and street art in general, have massively evolved over the past few years. Street art allows visitors and viewers to enjoy not only the artsy places around our region but also to analyze graffitis as written messages. Each artwork has a unique political, economic, or social factor that illustrates the messages and thoughts of each country.
So, here are a few Arab graffiti artists that you need to watch out for!
El Seed was born in Paris back in 1981. He works mainly with subjects that seem contradictory; his art actually reflects the reality of mankind and the world we live in today. In 2017, he won the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. Also, he was named A Global Thinker in 2016 by Foreign Policy for his project “Perception” that took place in Cairo.
Dina was born in Moscow and was raised in Damascus before moving to Dubai in 2012. She experienced a journey of colorful contrasts between the east and the west. Her style was clearly influenced by both cultures and her passion for bright and colorful patterns was clear.
The artist studied Visual Communications at Damascus University of Fine Arts and graduated back in 2009. She participated in numerous workshops, events, and competitions across the Middle East, Europe, and the US, which garnered her wide recognition.
Saif was born in Toronto back in 1990; he’s a Canadian visual artist with Middle Eastern origins. He started exploring graffiti from an early age as a way to express his views in a conservative society. Saif grew up in the UAE and later, he sprayed his way into commissioned events hosted by brands like Red Bull, Chevrolet, Mini Cooper, and others.
He noticed the gap in street art in the UAE, and the GCC in general, that definitely needed to be filled. So, he began to explore with different means to prove himself to be one of the first street artists in the GCC region.
Majeed is originally from the beautiful Saudi city Mecca. He’s currently living in Dubai and has been drawing since 2007. His love for the Arabic language and art has helped him evolve his innate talent in ‘Arabic Calligraffiti’.
Being born and raised in the holy city of Mecca, Majeed has always been deeply in touch with his Middle Eastern roots; he enjoyed using his talent to spread his views through his work.
The Jordanian graffiti artist was actually part of a small group that worked across the city of Amman to “transform the great big walls of dull concrete into an expressive painting that is full of life”.
Lebanese Graffiti Artist, Yazan, started experimenting with forms of art since 2007. He’s known for focusing on the shape rather than the meaning of the Arabic calligraphy he usually paints.
Shakarchi’s art revolves around the story of a cloud and its relationship with the environment that surrounds it. Before moving to Dubai, he used to work for his family business in London.
Since he arrived in the UAE, he totally dedicated himself to his art. He got a studio in Tashkeel and moved his practice past the symbology of only tagging the cloud. Instead, he gave the cloud a more firm conceptual basis.