Raphie Etgar was born in Jerusalem in 1947 and received his BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem.
In 1999, Etgar founded the Museum on the Seam, the first socio-political contemporary art museum in Israel. He has been its artistic director and curator since then.
Etgar initiates and maintains exhibitions that deal with issues at the center of public discussion and in the spirit of human rights and civic duties, out of a profound commitment to bringing about moral and social change through fine contemporary art from Israel and the world.
Over the years, Etgar has curated the following exhibitions: DEAD END (2005), which dealt with the violence within Israeli society; EQUAL AND LESS EQUAL (2006), that focused on the issues of discrimination, exploitation and humiliation; BARE LIFE (2007), about the personal and public consequences of a prolonged state of emergency that becomes legitimized; HEARTQUAKE (2008), that examined the central role of anxiety in human interactions with their surroundings, thus examining the dynamics of social and political interactions; NATURE & NATION (2009), that dealt with the complexity of encounters between humans with their natural environment; THE RIGHT TO PROTEST(2010), about the obligation that comes with the privilege of protest; WEST END (2011), about the clash of civilizations between Islam and the West and the possible consequences; BEYOND MEMORY (2012), which presented images from the archives of repression and denial of fears and anxieties from our past experiences, in an attempt to examine possible future scenarios and to learn from them how to avoid repeating past mistakes; FLESH AND BLOOD (2013) attempted to scrutinize the existing harsh relationship between mankind and other animals, and called upon us to look at flesh and blood as a fabric connecting the family of animals, of which we are part.
In 2000, Etgar initiated the exhibit COEXISTENCE. This large scale outdoor travelling exhibit features leading artists from around the world and has been shown in over 30 cities on different continents. It calls for mutual understanding between fellow humans, nations and religions. Its opening ceremonies have been attended by local leaders of the countries where the exhibit was held on its global journey.
Over the years, Etgar has lectured and directed projects in major institutions around Europe among them: The National College of Art and Design, Dublin; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Akademie der Bildenden Künste,Vienna; Hochschule der Künste, Zurich; Akademija Likovnih Umjetnosti, Sarajevo; Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf; Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart.
Between the years 1990-1999, he was invited to serve as artist-in-residence and artistic consultant of the renowned S. FISCHER publishing house in Germany. During his residency, he created over 300 posters of books, and over 1000 book covers. His encounters with renowned authors, with which he had worked, created a fascinating linkage for him between the artistic and literary worlds.
He continues to participate in solo and group exhibitions in Israel and throughout the world. Among his solo exhibitions: The Israel Museum, (1995); the National Poster Museum in Essen, Germany(1998) and the Widener Library at Harvard University, Boston, USA (1990).
His works are published in leading art magazines around the world.