Ahmed Mater

Ahmed Mater was born in 1979 in a rural part of Southern Saudi Arabia. He grew up in Abha, the capital of Aseer, where he followed a career working both as an artist and as a doctor at the local hospital. As project leader of the collective Ibn Aseer (son of Aseer), he played an integral part in the Al-Miftaha Arts Village project which quickly became key to the energy of a youthful art scene celebrated in King Fahd ‘s centre of culture.

Ahmed Mater’s work bears witness to his dual vocation; as artist and doctor. It reflects the duality between the objective and subjective worlds. With his unique style, the artist mingles scientific reference, medical imagery and religious symbolism in a truly original way. Immediately identifiable, some of his pieces such as those which came out of the Illumination series begun in 2003, are inspired by the illumination of traditional religious texts and blend the distinctive motifs of Islamic art with real X- Ray photography.

Widely shown in the Middle East and in Europe, Ahmed Mater is recognised as one of the most influential of Saudi Arabian artists today. By combining art, science and the concept of identity, his work marks a revival of contemporary art in Saudi Arabia with the emergence of an artistic scene. His work has been shown at many biennials (Sharjah in 2007, Cairo in 2008) and alongside other artists at some major exhibitions ("Word into Art" at the British Museum in 2006, "Edge of Arabia" in London in 2008, Venice in 2009 and Berlin in 2010) as well as at an important solo exhibition in London 2010.