eL Seed

Soul of the Black Bottom by eL Seed, at Market and Preston streets in West Philadelphia. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Born in Paris in 1981, eL Seed’s intricate compositions call not only on words and their meaning, but also on their movement, which ultimately lures the viewer into a different state of mind. Working primarily with subjects that seem contradictory, eL Seed’s art reflects the reality of mankind and the world we live in today. eL Seed has installed his work in public spaces, galleries, and institutions on every continent. From the streets of Paris or New York, to the favelas of Rio di Janeiro or the slums of Cape Town, his contemporary approach aims to bring people, cultures, and generations together. “eL Seed” is a pseudonym that was inspired at the age of 16 by “Le Cid,” a five-act tragicomedy by Pierre Corneille, one of the greatest 17th-century French dramatists.

Like Corneille’s The Cid, eL Seed “lives in service of art and hopes to foster peace, without prejudice for anyone he meets, driven only by art and by a message.” With each of his projects, he supports humanist values, sowing the seeds of tolerance, poetry, and peace. As a true soldier in the service of humanity, eL Seed spreads a message for everyone. This love of French literature follows him wherever he goes.

In 2017, eL Seed won the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. He was named a Global Thinker in 2016 by Foreign Policy for his project Perception in Cairo. In 2015, the international organization TED recognized him as one of the year’s TED Fellows, for advocating peaceful expression and social progress through his work. He has also collaborated with Louis Vuitton on their famous “Foulard d’artistes.”

Last updated: Dec 1, 2017