Syrian fine artist Ismail al-Rifai followed his passion for painting that started when he was as a young boy.
Al-Rifai was born in Raqqa, Syria in 1967. He obtained his B.A in Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts at Damascus University. The painter is a member of the Syrian Fine Arts Syndicate as well as the UAE Fine Arts Society.
Al-Rifai works as a researcher in the Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah. He participated in many exhibitions in Syria, UAE and other Arab and foreign countries and has won many awards including the award of Fine Arts Syndicate Chief in Syria in 2002, as well as the distinguished Painting Prize in the Sharjah Open Art Exhibition and the UAE Fine Arts Society in 2004.
Ismail al-Rifai received his first award when he was in grade one of elementary school. It was a box of coloring pencils which he kept in a secret place for many years. He used to take out a pencil to color a few lines and would soon hide it again.
“As I grew up I found out that I had the skills to paint,” said al-Rifai.
Hailing from Deir Al Zour which is nestled on the Euphrates where his mother lived, and the heart of the Mesopotamia legends, Ismail al-Rifai studied in the School of Fine Arts and his paintings mirrored his native town with its history of myths.
Al-Rifai’s says his experience can be summed up in two parts; the major one was the influence of his mother.
“She was an absolute embodiment of beauty,” said al-Rifai.
The second influence of al-Rifai’s character as an artist has been polished with his skill as a writer which imparts a sense of spontaneous feeling to his artworks.
“I have a project in the pipeline which depicts the inner image of man with its gloomy instincts as opposed to the aesthetical and spiritual side,” said al-Rifai.
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