Khorfakkan-based Emirati artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim (b. 1962, Khorfakkan, UAE) is part of the UAE’s first generation of contemporary artists from the 1990s and 2000s, an avant-garde that included Hassan Sharif, Abdullah Al Saadi, Hussein Sharif, and Mohammed Kazem. Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim came of age as an artist in the UAE in an era in which the visual arts were not yet valued culturally or taught in university degree programs. In 1986 when he met the late artist Hassan Sharif and became a founding member of the Emirates Fine Art Society, Ibrahim was pulled out of a secluded practice and carved out unshakable friendships and collaborations that have formed the foundation for the creative community that defines the UAE today.
Ibrahim’s practice has been inspired by a lifelong relationship with the environment of Khorfakkan, his place of birth, with the Gulf of Oman on one side and the Hajar Mountains on the other. His fascination with the desolate, rocky terrain on this eastern shore of the United Arab Emirates recalls not only Judd’s attraction to the barrenness of his Texan hideaway, but also the earthy toils of a generation of land artists, with whom Ibrahim shares a spiritual lineage. His deep connection to his local environment repeats itself throughout his studio practice, whether through his installations, drawings or objects. His hand made objects are shaped like primitive tools, bones or parts of trees and appear to have been unearthed from some ancient den, rather than handcrafted. His works on paper reveal his own form of language – inscriptions, lines and abstract forms that are reminiscent of ancient cave drawings – marking time and memory through meditative repetition.