My mother embodies absolute beauty

About the Artist

Ismail al-Rifai was born in Al Mayadeen in 1967. He holds a B.A in Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts in Damascus University and is a member of the Syrian Fine Arts Syndicate and the UAE Fine Arts Society as well. 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 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 the first award in his life 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 back.
Ismail al-Rifai: As I grew up I found out that I had the skills to paint.

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 experience may be summed up in two parts; the major one was the influence of his mother.

Ismail al-Rifai: She was an absolute embodiment of beauty.

Secondly, al-Rifai’s character as an artist has been polished with his prowess as a writer which imparts a sense of spontaneous feeling to his artworks.

Ismail al-Rifai: 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.