Calligraffiti: The Graphic Art of Niels Shoe Meulman

Calligraffiti: The Graphic Art of Niels Shoe Meulman

Just think about the famous eyeball poster Rick Griffins did for Hendrix. Can you imagine it without this unique writting ? Would it be so famous ifn the lettering was more... classical ? Surely not ! Nowadays, many artists use their computer when time has come to do the writting. Lack of imagination ? Of skills ? Of time ? Well hard to say, but this book is definitly the living proof that the art of drawing letters is far from being dead !


In an interview for PARIS TONKAR, Niels Shoe Meulman in 2010, defined Calligraffiti by these words: “Calligraffiti is my way of translating the art of the street to the interior of museums, galleries and apartments. The older I get the more I’m drawn to simplicity and directness. The kind of directness you’ll find in graffiti and especially tagging. I have always been fascinated by Eastern and Arabic calligraphy and I took these aspects —together with my experience in design and communication— and merged them into a personal style. Calligraffiti.”

It is difficult to give a better definition of his style: a mix of Japanese ancient brush characters, Arabic pictorial scripts, illuminated mediaeval books or swirly quill writing and graffiti, mainly done with india ink and black markers. The result is facisnating and unique, difficult to tell if you are reading a nice tag on a wall or a page written by a middle aged monk. Arabic hip-hop ? in a certain graffic way, definitly.

Niels Shoe Meulman is from Amsterdam and is worldwide known in the graffiti world, of course, but more widely in the graffic arts world This wonderful book is the best way to discover his talent and is, by itself, a true jewel. What make the pages so beautiful is that the choice has been made to presentthe work out of context: logos, brand or even frames are not shown here, just the purest and simplest naked artwork. The quality of printing makes also the book so beautiful to look especially for a mostly black and white art.

All the infos about the different works shown in the book are gathered in the last pages so, when looking at the 144 pages, you are never disturbed from your eyes pleasure. 

A true "must have" book for any graffiti fan, but most surely, for any art lover !


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