Ismail Al Rifai was born in 1967 and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Damascus. Ismail is a Syrian accomplished artist as well as published writer and poet. According to Al Rifai, painting is not the simulation of the visible, but rather the unfolding of the invisible and unknown.
Al Rifai has exhibited widely both inside and outside Syria in various solo exhibitions including Silent Revelations at Gallery Ward, Dubai (2019); Lasting Impressions at Sharjah Art Museum (2010); She and Her Creatures at Sharjah Art Gallery (2008); Prayers at Vindemia Gallery, Dubai (2009) and Abstraction at Sharjah Art Gallery (2005). He has also participated in numerous international exhibitions, biennials and events including Passion and Sorrow at Lamiatos Gallery, Dubai (2016); Bahrain Art Fair (2016); Triangle at the Mojo Gallery, Dubai (2015); Beirut Art Fair (2015); Opera Gallery, Dubai (2015); Daily Myths at Al Markhiyah Gallery, Doha (2014); Tunisia Biennale for Contemporary Art (2013); Triple Exhibition at Total Art Gallery, Dubai (2012); Cairo International Biennale (2011); Tehran Biennale for Contemporary Art (2004) and Bangladesh Biennale (2003). Many of Al Rifai’s works were sold at auctions including Christie’s Dubai (2012).
Al Rifai has won a number of artistic and literary awards such as the Dubai Culture Award (2015); the First Prize at the Annual Emirates Fine Arts Society exhibition (2014); the Sharjah Prize for Arab Creativity for his published novel Stairway of Mud (2006); Short Novel Award from the Emirates Writers Union (2005) as well as Fine Arts Syndicate Award, Syria (2002).