Joseph Raffael

Joseph Raphael’s Biography

Joseph Raffael (born February 22, 1933 in Brooklyn, NY) is an American contemporary realist painter. His paintings, primarily watercolors, are almost all presented on a very large scale.”

“Raffael’s distinctively original art has earned critical praise ever since the mid-60s, while he was living in New York City and, later, in Marin County, California. During this period, his circle of artist friends in New York included the British photorealist Malcolm Morley, the painter Don Nice, the writer Linda Rosenkrantz, the photographer Peter Hujar and, in California, the artist William T. Wiley. In 1965, he had a solo exhibition at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery. In 1966, he taught at University of California Davis. He married his first wife, the artist Judy Davis, in 1968, and lived in Bennington, Vermont, commuting to New York to teach at the School of Visual Arts. In 1969, they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Raffael taught at UC Berkeley and later at California State University in Sacramento. In 1972 he began his “water painting” series using photographs of rivers taken for him by painter William Allan. In 1973, Raffael quit teaching to paint full time; he received first prize at the Tokyo International Biennale in 1974.

The death of his son Matthew and divorce in 1980 caused him to focus more on the spiritual, including imagery related to Buddhism. He began a relationship with his spiritual counselor, Lannis Wood, in 1984; they married in 1986 and moved to the south of France, where he now resides, working in watercolors and acrylics. In 1988, Raffael began the Lannis in Sieste series, a group of paintings featuring over a dozen of his wife in repose.”

– biography from Wikipedia

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