The Völklingen Ironworks flooded in red light
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte | Oliver Dietze
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte / Hans-Georg Merkel
2015, in situ
4,5 x 6,5 x 6,5 m
That many contemporary artists with a background in graffiti writing are strongly inspired by classic calligraphy is hardly surprising. Graffiti writing, with its sweeping constructed pieces, overlapping elements and flourishes can even be classed as a form of this decorative handwriting. Graffiti veteran Nils Meulmann coined the term "Calligraffiti" to refer to the hybrid style combining graffiti and calligraphy. Artists with close connections to Persian or Arab traditions seem to have a particular affinity with this artistic writing style. Moroccanborn Parisian Tarek Benaoum – a former graffiti writer – is one such artist. Benaoum began experimenting with artistic writing at the age of 14, initially under the alias "Clone". Even back in the early stages of his artistic career, Benaoum would often incorporate Gothic script into his pieces. Derived from medieval handwriting styles, Gothic script has a clear connection with calligraphy. Today, this style still serves as a continuous, consistent source of inspiration for Benaoum's art. To achieve his highly decorative look, Benaoum incorporates metallic colors such as gold and silver. An homage to the streets, perhaps.