Raafat Ishak

18 October –
11 November 2007

Raafat Ishak’s works broil with multitudinous ideas. To say that he has a restless intellect would be an understatement but he balances his political and social investigations with a sleek and beautifully muted graphic aesthetic.

Ishak is highly conscious of his status as an outsider in this predominantly Anglo-Celtic nation and his work veers dramatically from socio-political content to pure poetry. His semi-figurative work has embraced a cornucopia of subjects, ranging from references to his past in Egypt through his fascination with sport with both its grace and attendant violence. Ishak’s
interest in stadium architecture in particular, and sport in general, stems from a frustration, real or imagined, with the tendency to superficially manufacture social structures.

“Stadium architecture has developed from a set of conglomerate structures, representing a chronological order of development that is deeply entwined with tribal traditions and histories into a rental mass,” he says. “Basically, the ship, the stadium and dolphin paintings are the focus of the show, as much as they may be about criticism, politics, or even logic in general, they are essentially exercises towards formal values and aesthetics that I’m relying on to perhaps instigate other issues that are normally outside of my control” 1

  1. Excerpt from Ashley Crawford, Australian Art Collector, July 2007

Artist’s profile