Abdulnasser Gharem was born in 1973 in Khamis Mushait, where he used to
live and work. In 1992 he graduated from the King Abdulaziz Academy before attending The Leader Institute in Riyadh. In 2003 he studied at the influential Al- Meftaha Arts Village in Abha, later staging a group exhibition with his fellow Al- Meftaha artists, titled Shattah, which challenged existing modes of art practice in Saudi Arabia. Since then, Gharem has exhibited in Europe, the Gulf and the USA, including at Martin-Gropius-Bau, LACMA, the British Museum, the V&A, and the Venice, Sharjah and Berlin Biennales, whilst concurrently being promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi Arabian Army.
Gharem recently made history when his installation Message/Messenger sold for a world-record price at auction in Dubai, establishing him as the highest selling living Gulf artist. Gharem donated the proceeds of this sale to a campaign by Edge of Arabia, of which he is co-founder, to foster art education in his native country.
In 2013, Gharem moved to Riyadh, in an attempt to broaden his professional resources and, due to the lack of proper studios for artists in the city, established Gharem Studio in the process. What began as a working space for Gharem, soon attracted fellow artists, photographers and creative minds, who proved to be the first wave of a new Saudi art initiative. The artist’s first monograph ‘Abdulnasser Gharem: Art of Survival’ was published by Booth-Clibborn Editions in London in October 2011.