El Seed is Heading to London For His First Solo Exhibition

The Franco-Tunisian is bringing caligraffiti to the UK

byAmina Kaabi

Calligraphy has long been one of the Arab world’s most prominent forms of art. In recent years, the craft has taken on several new, more contemporary forms—and El Seed has been at the centre of its renaissance.

 

The French-Tunisian artist has made a name for himself over the years for using an amalgamation of calligraphy and graffiti as a form of political expression. From the streets of Paris to the slums of Rio de Janeiro, El Seed has made his mark across the world. But his most notable project yet, entitled Perception, took him to Cairo where he painted a mural that covered 50 buildings in an impoverished neighbourhood, in a bid to bring awareness to its marginalised Coptic community of Zaraeeb.

 

 

And this month, the artist will be taking his work to the UK for the first time for his solo exhibition at London’s Lazinc Gallery. Entitled Tabula Rasa, the show builds on his past work, showcasing a series of acrylic paintings in his signature style, but rather than adhering to his usually polished works, the pieces almost look unfinished.

 

“The show is inspired by the work of the British philosopher John Locke, who said that when you’re born, your brain is as empty as a blank slate, everything you learn and know comes from experiences or perception,” El Seed told MILLE.  The exhibition itself takes its name from the concept pioneered by the 17th century philosopher, dubbed Tabula Rasa.

 

 

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Tabula Rasa is up until March 9th at @lazinc – Go check it out #tabularasa #locke #theQueenwillcome

Une publication partagée par eL Seed (@elseed) le

 

“I did and I always do my Tabula Rasa as an artist,” he explained. “I have to challenge myself to move forward with my work, to bring something new every time.”

 

But the concept behind the show goes beyond El Seed’s own experiences. For him, the show is an invitation for attendees to apply the concept to the region, and culture to which he belongs. “I want [the viewers] to do their Tabula Rasa,” he said, “to remove every misconception they might have on Arabic culture and come into the show with a blank slate”.

 

Tabula Rasa, 25 January – March 9, Lazinc Gallery, London

lazinc.com

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