Brandon Blake


This one night I was at a dinner party at the UW with a group of relative strangers, most of whom I most likely wouldn’t socialize with normally; it was kind of an awkward gathering. I was sitting next to this wild-eyed dude. I made a comment about graffiti, and he goes, “Well, you know, that’s funny cuz I’m actually a graffiti artist.”

“Really…? So am I!” So we get to talking and he says, “What do you study here?”

“Arabic and Near Eastern Languages,” and he immediately switches to Arabic. Turns out he lived in Jordan, too. He says, “I’m a calligrapher.” No way.

“Yeah. Me too.”

“But recently I’ve been experimenting with Arabic styles in graffiti.”

“Yeah. Me too.”

Basically, Brandon Blake is my artistic doppleganger, and this has resulted in a few, but far too few, artistic collaborations.

When I threw an Islamic Art show at the University of Washington, the two of us exhibited art and spoke to passers-by about Islamic art, its history and its future. Two Jews rocking the Islamic Art Show as a kickoff for Islam Awareness Week on campus. Only in America.

Peep his website at and a short documentary on him here:


At the Islamic Art Show. Mine are standing, his is laying down.


~ by Josh on January 11, 2008.

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