Born in Lebanon in 1954, Raouf Rifai studied at the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut, where he gained a Bachelor’s degree in Decorative Art in 1982. He later attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he received a PhD in Urbanism in 1995. He taught for several years at the Department of Architecture and Design at the Lebanese University and is Vice President of the Association of Lebanese Artists.
A figurative and Abstract painter who is also influenced by other styles, including Impressionism and Expressionism, Rifai describes the subject of his work as humanity in its entirety. A recurring motif in his art is the dervish, dynamic and created in bold vibrant colours, whose evolution reflects the complicated tapestry of the ever-changing Middle Eastern societal landscape. Topical aspects relating to the environment and instability are often explored in his thought-provoking work.
Rifai was awarded first prize at the Sursock Museum’s 2010 Salon d’Automne in Beirut. His work has been exhibited extensively over four decades, featuring in 70 public collections, including key biennales, 60 solo shows and high-profile auctions across the Middle East, Europe, the US and the Far East. It can also be found in public and private collections worldwide, including national museums, banks and universities. My Art's main subject is Humanity; it is nourished by story.