“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke”
Through our faith we learn the importance and magnificence of self-expression.
Islamic art throughout history has always been this unique blend of simplicity and richness, which has left its everlasting impact and has inspired millions of brilliant minds in our societies today.
Here are simply a handful of jaw-dropping Islamic artists that have been inspired by traditional Islamic art and have something special to show the world.
1- Hassan Mossoudy
Iraqi artist Hassan Mossoudy has made stunning pieces that are a mix of traditional and contemporary calligraphy.
He portrays traditional calligraphy but with a bold and modern twist that make the letters transform into swift figures with effortless movement that dance on paper. All his work is heavily inspired by simplistic human interest. The emotion evoked through the simple movement of lines, the balance of composition and the contrast between vivid colors and white background, all contribute to the beautiful wholeness of his work.
The phrases that he paints come from popular proverbs, poets and philosophers throughout the centuries, which makes his work not only pleasing on the eyes but also full of meaning.
2- Ruh Al-Alam
Ruh is a London born-British artist, who studied fine arts and calligraphy and uses these influences to create bold pieces of art. His style turns simple Arabic words into a vault of expressive forms.
His brand concept is called Visual Dhikr, which uses the Arabic word “Dhikr” meaning to remember and reflect, in order to infuse spiritual reminders in a visually striking form. The words often used in his pieces are Islamic terms that help people remember and be reminded of their religion and spirituality, and his execution of these pieces give a rushing depth of feeling which makes his work something truly enchanting.
3- Nadia Janjua
Nadia Janjua is an artist, architect and art educator based in Washington D.C. her bright and vivid paintings combined with religious inspirations help make her pieces a standout inspiration.
Her art style is extremely vibrant, lively and colorful, which brings out a very positive and light-hearted mood, in each of her pieces.
“All of my art work is very personal to me, and essentially it is my soul coming through. I learned how to express myself with colors and forms before I did with words, so painting and drawing have really been a natural extension of my hands and inner workings,” Nadia mentioned. Not only do her paintings have meaning, but that merged with her bright and colorful style, helps lift the mood of any viewer, making her style truly extraordinary.
4- Ahmed Mustafa
Ahmed Mustafa is an Egyptian artist who finds inspiration in both his inner experiences and external realities. His style is a fusion of classical European techniques combined with Arabic calligraphy.
Most of his the words in his work are derived from the Quran and represent his attachment to his faith. This fused with his painting technique and color choice creates a very classical, colorful, yet sentimental mood. He combined two classical and old traditions to make a powerful visual impact that is both modern and picturesque.
5- eL Seed
eL Seed is a French/Tunisian ‘calligriffiti’ artist who combines Arabic calligraphy with modern day graffiti to create colorful pieces that are absolute showstoppers.
His intricate designs and compositions focus on the movement of the words and colors in a way, which allows him to completely lure in his viewers. His massive pieces of graffiti can be seen worldwide in almost every continent, from the streets of Paris to the slums of Cape Town.
His pieces all try to portray a powerful message that promote peace and humanist values. His work is something not only grand in terms of scale, but grand in the depths of its meaning as well, which makes it almost impossible to ignore.
These artists are all brightly leading the world to a richer place with their talent. No doubt, their inspiration ignites the light of life, which shines on a bright future for the Ummah in’shaa Allah. Appreciate them, love them, and support them; for they are a gift that must not be overlooked.