Rakia was born in Vienna in 1928 and came to Israel at the age of ten. With the end of the War of Independence he began studying with the artist Ardon, and afterwards attended the "Bezalel" school. From l'955-1960 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. His first showings, in a surrealistic symbolic style, were held at that time at the Musee d'art Modern in Paris, as well as In Switzerland. From his fellow artist he already won the title of "anthroposopher".
Upon his return to Israel in 1960, he began a series of drawings in which Hebrew letters played a central part. A year later an extensive individual exhibition of Rakia's work was held at the Tel Aviv Museum. Following the Six Day War, Jerusalem became a central theme in the artist's work. The city, as the essence of the national destiny was concretized both realistically and symbolically: beside the archways, walls and plants, the letters had, from time to time, figurative and abstract shapes.
In the seventies a new spirit filled Rakia's work: beside the previous world of shapes appear horses, in a range of hues and positions, accompanied by musical instruments. What- ever the forms and subjects may be, the reflection of light shining in the background is in all his works. Sometimes the light is green, blue or red; sometimes it is concentrated in a circle, or it appears diffuse.
Light is one of the strongest expressions in Rakia's world view as it is reflected in his art. It Is an ongoing attempt to touch the mystical experience and the tie h<"twGfn our national existence and the cosmic order around us. The forms and colors are a means of reifying the cosmic cycles of time, light and sound. Man himself appears infrequently in these works, Rakia preferring to place in them his longings to understand and to touch the wonderful system which surrounds his existence.
The life and work of David Rakia have been described in the book written by Dr. Marcel L. Mendelson, which was recently published by "Massada".
Rakia's works have been displayed in over 50 individual exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world, and they are also to be found in important art collections. Rakia creates his art in Jerusalem.
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