He began sculpting out of palm tree trunks

About the Artist

Qatari artist Yousef Ahmad started his studies in Fine Arts in Cairo and then moved to the United States where he launched his career in fine arts. Yousef Ahmad makes his artwork material himself by using elements from his surrounding environment and says he is an environmental-friendly artist.

Sand yards, marsh lands, ponds surrounded with wild flowers and the infinite scorching desert are the main components of Yousef’s paintings. His choice of subjects represents the natural settings of Al Jassrah neighborhood in Qatar where Yousef was born.

Yousef Ahmad: One of my first attempts in art was to turn the palm trees in our house into a piece of art. After a bruising experience, I made a statue from the tree trunk.

His early journey began when he used to draw on the wall with the leftovers of coal from the stove. It was not until the elementary school that he realized that there were pencils for paintings.

Yousef set off for Cairo for studying art, and then moved to California to add to his academic achievements.

Yousef Ahmad: My only concern was how to create a unique identity for the Arab modern art by employing local ingredients, not imported from the United States or Europe, but of Arab or Qatari origin. I could establish an intimate bond with these ingredients that I could see every day.

Although Yousef failed to create his unique art materials, he made vast strides in inventing an artistic identity intertwined with Arabic letters tinged with a spiritual touch.

Yousef was very loyal and generous in the way he employed Arabic letters. In return, the latter reciprocated joyfully opening up new vistas in his paintings to the viewer.

Yousef Ahmad: I have deserted acrylic and oil colors. I have even deserted furniture, and lay my paintings on the floor to create an intimate relationship while I am in the thick of painting.

Yousef never did any pre-planning for his paintings, but borrowed the same from the world around him, and hence it has an aura of autumn or the colors of seeds.

Yousef Ahmad: My paintings are always very close to my heart. That intimacy is the source of my creativity.