Interview with Hassan Massoudy, famous Iraqi calligrapher. He talks about his art, his experience of graffiti and artistic inspiration. Meeting in his studio, video and pictures inside.
Translation by Anne-Laure Lemaitre
FatCap TV presents you an exclusive interview of the famous Iraqi calligrapher Hassan Massoudy.
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Hassan Massoudy has acquired a long time ago an international recognition through his Arabic calligraphy. This Iraqi artist who has been living in Paris for 35 years. His talents and the way he has to sublimate letterings has inspired graffiti artists from all over the world. From Marko93 to El Seed, or Esper, or Olson, many are those who name him as a major reference and source of inspiration.
His studio is located alongside the Marne, in the nineteenth district of Paris. From outside the façade shows no outward sign of artistic richness. But as soon as you enter, hundreds of calligraphy are carefully stacked. On those shown on the walls, you can recognize Hassan Massoudy's specific style. His drawings always created from a sentence, quote or poem. It highlights one of the words that develops over the entire surface, while the rest of the quote is very small, appears at the bottom of the sheet as a sort of thin lace attached to the main word.
As a calligrapher, Hassan Massoudy has a sharp eye for researches on letters. If the graffiti artists are very interested in his work, he is a keen observer of their own realizations in his neighborhood and elsewhere. Therefore it was a very organic choice for him to contribute to the book "Arabic Graffiti" which is dedicated to Arabic letterings graffiti.
Hassan Massoudy wrote :
« Arabic calligraphy and graffiti are two sisters. (...) Both are designed to use letters and alphabets and their center of gravity is the beauty of writing. (...) The similarity between graffiti and Arabic calligraphy is even more obvious in tag, because here the tool is almost the same : ink and a pen. »
For 15 years, Hassan Massoudy holds open doors in his studio the last Saturday of each month. He received FatCap a few hours before this monthly ritual and talked about his journey as an artist, his Art and what inspires him. He also gave us a rare and poetic speech on the space of graffiti in our time.