Wissam Shawkat

Biography

Wissam Shawkat is a conceptually motivated artist with mastery in Arabic calligraphy. Born in 1974 in Basra (Iraq), he was first introduced to Arabic calligraphy at the age of 10 by his primary school teacher Muhammad Ridha Suhail.

Shawkat is largely self-taught in the rigorous medium, attaining mastery through book research, visits to various masters, museum and library collections throughout the region.

He has received numerous prizes for his calligraphy and has participated as both an artist and committee member at multiple editions of the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial and the Dubai International Calligraphy Exhibition. Letters of Love, his 2011 solo exhibition at Reed Space in New York, introduced a global audience to a series of contemporary compositions. With Monumental 11/11, a 2016 exhibition at Tashkeel (an influential creative hub and gallery in Dubai), Shawkat visually announced his break with traditional calligraphy and his commitment to instead use the letters as a foundation for works of dynamic abstraction.

His style, which is referred to as Calligraforms, focuses on the precise forms of the letters, but also the abstract shapes generated by examining the geometric spaces inside and outside of their structures.

Shawkat is based in Dubai, where he is engaged full time as an artist, designer, and Arabic typographer. His work is regularly featured in books on Arabic calligraphy and typography, included in museum exhibitions, and acquired by private collectors.

Intersection by Wissam Shawkat

A series of limited edition fine art prints available in various mediums and sizes. Shawkat is offering a contemporary approach to Calligraphy, making it fresh and more relevant to today’s audiences. Each print is hand signed and numbered by the artist and accompanied by a certificate of authentication.