Victor Raphael (American, born 1950) works in a wide range of media spanning painting, photography, video, printmaking, and digital technology. He creates complex and beautiful images that expand conventional views of time and space.
For the past four decades, Raphael has produced a unique body of work by merging traditional media such as painting, photography and printmaking with modern electronic media, including video, digital printing and interactive technologies. In addition to his central themes of the exploration of the cosmos and aspects of travel—through space or time—and their visual records, the artist has developed an important body of paintings, in which water, for instance, and its protean and timeless qualities, form an important part. His photography process of digitally manipulating NASA photographs of planets and other natural celestial phenomena into Polaroid prints, and next altering them by hand with metallic paints and gold and metal leaf, earned his work to be selected in 1996 as among the 50 best examples of Polaroid photography included in Polaroid 50: Art and Technology, an international touring exhibition commemorating the company's fiftieth anniversary.
Raphael’s work was also included in American Perspectives: Selections from the Polaroid Collection, which toured museums in Japan and the US in 2000-01 and The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation, at Vassar College and The Norton Museum in Florida in 2013. Most recently, Raphael’s work was included in LACMA’s See the Light—Photography, Perception, Cognition exhibit (2013-14).
Raphael has had solo Museum survey exhibitions at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum, Envisioning Space curated by Michael Zakian (2000), The USC Fisher Museum of Art, Travels and Wanderings organized by Selma Reuben Holo and curated by Ariadni Liokatis (2009) and the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA Lead Into Gold, The World of Victor Raphael (2011), organized by Barbara Hitchcock, former curator and director of Cultural Affairs at Polaroid.
Raphael’s work is included in the collections of: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, The Polaroid Collection, Skirball Museum, The Sol LeWitt Collection, USC Fisher Museum of Art, and Bibliotheque national de France, among others.