Books are for so much more than pleasure, don't you agree? They are inspirational, educational, and provocative. Books can challenge you to explore things and ideas that you didn't even know you were interested in, and they can open your eyes to new and different worlds, styles, art, trends, and design. That's why I'm so invested in books about design, art, photography, and decorating - and why I feel the need to share my thoughts on these books with all of you.
Signs of Our Times: From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti is the perfect example of a book that not only inspires, but provokes, educates, and broadens your look at the world. This wonderful coffee table book, published by Merrell Publishers, tackles the evolution of the 60-year art of Calligraffiti. Never heard of it? Me either!
Calligraffiti emerged in the 1950s as an alternative approach to art being explored and produced in the Modernist era. Artists in Iran and the Arab world took inspiration from the movement, their own varied cultures, and combined those to create a sort of lyrical art in a new artistic language using ancient techniques in a bold new way.
Fifty artists are featured in the more than 300 pages of this impressive volume, dotted along a historically accurate and informative timeline on how changes in the Middle Eastern world have affected the art of Calligraffiti and the artistic contributions that followed from the 1950s to present day. Each of the artists is asked three questions: How did writing/calligraphy/ words come into your work, or how did you come to words, writing or the morphology of letters in your work? Is there anything you may want to add in terms of your sources of inspiration, whether poetry, historical events or aesthetics?
The answers to these questions, and the artist work that accompanies the following pages is extraordinary, and gives a humbling perspective to the greater world.
The book is honestly, fascinating. Looking at each of the brilliant photos of Signs of Our Times is like being in an art gallery of beautiful Arabic and Persian Script, or the morphology of those scripts and letters in contemporary and modern art.
Take a closer look for yourself, and grab a copy for your coffee table or library via the Amazon link below: