“I first saw Ahmed’s pieces in Istanbul in 2009, and knew immediately that he is one of the few Middle Eastern artists whose work transcends geography, religion, and politics,” shares Nazy Nazhand, Founder of Art Middle East. Nazhand subsequently introduced the Saudi artist’s work in New York in 2010, ahead of Mater’s Venice Biennial exhibit. Since then, Mater’s images and mixed media art have been included in shows at the British Museum in London; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; and the Mori Art Museum; among others.
Born in Abha, Ahmed Mater was educated as a medical practitioner; his artistic work showcases his desire to communicate across borders. “As with much contemporary artistic practice, Ahmed Mater is not so much reinventing Islamic art as he is repurposing it so that it becomes more clearly a vehicle for personal expression,” comments Linda Komaroff, Curator of Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Here, for Vogue Arabia, Ahmed Mater gives further insight into a selection of his most exceptional pieces.