Born in 1928 in Vienna, David Rakia moved to Israel with his family in 1938.
He grew up into the War of Independence, in which he fought, was wounded
and lost his brother. While recovering from his wounds, he began to study
painting with renowned artist Mordechai Ardon. Later, at the Bezalel School of
Art and following graduation, he travelled to Paris to study at the Academy
des Beaux Arts.
On his return to Israel in the early 1960s, Rakia underwent a personal revolution
That led him to rediscover his own cultural roots and renew his ties with
them. He began to paint the city of Jerusalem as the key motif throughout his
works which now clearly reflected the return to his homeland and the change
in his immediate surroundings.
The essence of Jerusalem, its character and sanctified spiritual and mysterious
nature, its special light as well as its most unique feature, are all captured accurately.
Between 2000 and 2007, Rakia concentrated on his ‘letters’ style, (without
any accompanying images) of which he created canvases of different sizes filled
entirely with Hebrew letters in a variety of colors, density, size and intensity.
These are paintings that give a dramatic sense of the infinite spatial depth of
Constellations of letters.
In recent years he had developed a more contemporary style: Abstract-Expressive-
Lyrical, highly dynamic, with movement and energy. The eye of the
observer is led from the surface of the painting into its depth as his canvases are
replete with expressive musical colors on top of which he adds moving shapes,
lines and forms by spurting white paint on the surface.
photo of David Rakia by Shuki kuk *