Warris Mahmud is a Pakistani-American who settled in the United States in 1984. With no formal training, this artist began a series of pieces relying solely on his sense of color, his imagination and his spirituality. His work primarily depicts verses from The Quran, where he experiments with the freedom and versatility of the Arabic alphabet, and the richness and texture of color. Warris does not conform to the traditionally accepted style of Arabic calligraphy, but rather relies on his talent for visualizing a concept to bring a fresh, innovative approach to the subject. For those familiar with the teachings of the Quran, the collection is a joy to behold; for those who wish to learn more, his unusual work is an education. He has tried, through his paintings, to communicate the message of the Holy Quran to everyone: Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
According to Warris, he is neither a calligrapher nor an artist but a visualizer, attempting to bring the beauty of Quran in all its glory through the “Colors of the Koran.”
An initial collection of his work entitled “Colors of the Koran” was exhibited in Houston, and was so successful that the gallery extended the show for an additional week. Houstonians from all cultural and religious backgrounds were extremely receptive to his new bold approach to calligraphy. A subsequent exhibition in Cleveland was equally successful. His work has been displayed in various countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa and also in the residences of American Ambassadors in Brunei, Algeria and Pakistan.
A religious sage one said that calligraphy is the tongue of the hand, the delight of the conscience, and the ambassador of the mind.