Arabic calligraphy with a difference


Arabic calligraphy with a difference describes the work of the Jordanian-origin Viennese artist Abd A. Masoud. His goal is to reshape the Arabic script, to combine it with ornaments and symbols, to create an artistic work without figurative painting.

In order to make the calligraphic element more attractive for the “non- Arabic- speaking viewer” , the artist deliberately avoid the traditional main criteria of calligraphy (white background and black letters).

As a character of the artist each painting has a framework with white border. This framework implements the window which Abd A. Masoud looks through to the outer world. His inner world is presented through the different styles of writing in all its facets. His inner world reveals itself in new forms and effects, with inexhaustible possibilities of his artistic tools.
Each of his paintings presents the shape of a pale white colour cross in the centre. The artist tries to allude the viewer to imagine a window cross but also to an unfolded old document. The artist plays with the mystical element of obsolescence ancient wordings, wise writings and precious memories.
All his paintings are signed with an elongated rectangular stamp in dark red colour, an appealing contrast to the written text. On purpose the artist writes with this stamp his name in Arabic from right to left. The lettering of the stamp appears as a mirror image.

The art can unify our language and writing diversities and convert it to a universal pictorial language with a unique deep soul.

Abd A. Masoud does not renounce the gold colour which is used traditionally in Arabic calligraphy for decorating and embellishing. He uses the gold very discreet to embellish the surfaces of certain objects and give them a special breath.
Since more than 1350 years, the dot plays an important function in everyday Arabic script, even a higher mystical value in calligraphy.

For the artist, the dot always has been an essential element in his compositions and he sees it as a part of his work. With a contrasting colour he emphasizes the importance of this element.

Abd A. Masoud has produced a unique harmony with his work through combining all these elements such as colours, textures, patterns, symbolism and the various writings styles which are best presented through his Inspiring motto – Arabic calligraphy with a difference.


The artist gets inspiration and new ideas often from old Arabic manuscripts and maps. Without getting restricted to the traditional calligraphy rolls the artist feel his freedom to re-design and re-interpret these ancient scriptures and convert his thoughts to the final result on the canvas.


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