Singaporean artist Israfil Ridhwan (b. 1999) is a visual storyteller. He transposes the lived and dreamed experiences of the people around him into a colourful arrangement of warm hued canvases.The oil paintings of Israfil feature neo-expressionist poster-like compositions, an alluring medley of relayed narratives and inspirations. Vivid colours, bold outlines, and rhythmic figures welcome audiences to walk through a series of cinematic events.

Mysticism, movement, and drama breeze through Israfil’s latest collection of work as he crafts a harmonious marriage of local encounters with neo-latin cultural influences. Inspiration from baroque masters is apparent in the strong contrasts between light and shadow, or chiaroscuro, of Israfil’s paintings.

Israfil Ridhwan graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 2020 with a Diploma in Fine Arts and has since shown in group exhibitions including Little Red Dot – Singapore Edition (2022), Fresh Take (2021) and held his first solo exhibition, The Divine Comedy in 2021 at Cuturi Gallery.

Artist statement 

One quote I’ve always stuck with is, “life imitates art”. Being someone who’s a little too in-touch with his emotions can be very draining. I’ve been blessed with the life I have- to live around people who express their thoughts and emotions to me. I see violence, lust, love, joy and so many more. Being inspired by this, I’ve made it my genre of art. When I paint something, it’s a parallel reflection of an emotion, valid or not. I’d like to think that I’m a mediator of some sort. My art style has been described as poster-like or figurative. I think it’s nice knowing that it is the way it is, as if life is a movie and my work is the summary.