The Qatari artist Yousef Ahmad is one of the rare artists that make their own materials. The use of environmental elements make him a ‘green’ artist, one that is in harmony with his natural surroundings.
Ahmad studied Fine Arts in Cairo and then moved to the United States where he continued his higher education in California, cumulating in a Master’s degree obtained in 1982.
The natural inspiration for his work does not stop with his materials; sand yards, marsh lands, ponds surrounded with wild flowers and the infinite scorching desert are the main subjects of his paintings.
Such subjects reflect Ahmad’s origins as they directly mirror the Al Jassrah neighborhood in Qatar, where Ahmad was born in 1955.
It was here that Ahmad used to draw on the wall with leftover coal from the stove. It was not until the elementary school that he realized that there were pencils for paintings. One of his first attempts at creating a masterpiece was realized when he made a statue out of a palm tree trunk.
These early experiences with art led to a constant, daring, commitment to using the natural environment in his work.
Part of the motivation for this was to create a unique identity for Arab modern art by employing local ingredients, not imported from the United States or Europe, but of Arab or Qatari origin.
Ahmad never pre-plans his paintings, choosing instead to lay them on the floor of his workshop to create an intimate relationship with his creations. He proceeds to paint with his heart, claiming that this intimacy is the source of his creativity.
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