Victor Raphael

In my work, I explore the broad themes of time and space through my investigations of nature, deep space, art history, spirituality, and the supernatural. I’m interested in the big questions and in the smallest detail that reveals something divine. I want my art to appeal to the heart and soul as well as the mind. Ultimately, my goal is to inspire a sense of wonder and awe and to reflect on our place in the universe.

I work in a range of media-including painting, photography, digital technology, printmaking, and video-and I have a long history of combining traditional media with contemporary technologies to create hybrids. I have applied gold and metal leaf to the surfaces of photographs for over thirty years. My leafed Polaroid work was included in the traveling exhibition Polaroid 50: Art and Technology as one of the fifty best examples of Polaroid photography.

I collaborate regularly with other artists. Currently I am working with Clayton Spada on the project From Zero to Infinity, which explores the intersection of science, nature, and philosophy, and with David Jordan Williams with the unexplained phenomena project, depicting extraordinary encounters with the unknown. I have also worked with photographer Bill Aron, leafing his photographs, in the tradition of illuminated manuscripts. I continue to collaborate with computer pioneer Jean-Pierre Hebert.

My collaborations sometimes take place within an institution. In 1998, 1999 and 2003, I was invited to print silkscreen and mono-silkscreens at Self-Help Graphics. In 2005, I became the first artist-in-residence at Hebrew Union College and created a permanent installation in a classroom, Nachamu, Nachamu: The Heavens Spread Out Like A Prayer Shawl. The process of collaboration continues to inspire and challenge me. I see it as a metaphor for human survival on this planet.

I have had two solo Museum surveys of my artwork. In 2000, the Frederick R Weisman at Pepperdine University hosted a 20 year retrospective, Envisioning Space, and in 2009, The USC Fisher Museum of Art organized a thirty year survey, Travels and Wanderings 1979-2009.