Raouf Rifai

Born in Lebanon in 1954 Raouf Rifai lives and works in Beirut. He has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the Sorbonne in Paris and teaches art at the Lebanese University.  His large-scale acrylic paintings depict Middle Eastern men who are characterized by their large tarbush hats and traditional garments, rendered in bright warm colors that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East.  At times his figures are abstracted with lines covering their facial features; elsewhere, their exaggerated facial features animate the canvas and attest to the expressiveness he seeks to capture in his portraits.  In 2010, Rifai was awarded the first prize in the Sursock Museum’s Salon d’automne in Beirut, and a year later his work was successfully auctioned at Christie’s Dubai.  Rifai has taken part in numerous collective shows in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and Japan and has held more than fifteen solo exhibitions since 1984 in Lebanon, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, France, and the United States.