Raphael was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Maryland. He began his studies in his early teens and he eventually received a Maryland Artists Equity Distinguished Scholar Finalist Award in 1995. Subsequently he enrolled at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
Including a semester studying abroad in Italy at the Syracuse University in Florence, based in Piazza Savonarola, he graduated from MICA with a BFA in 1999. After some travel he moved to New York where he attended graduate school at The New York Academy of Art in TriBeCa on scholarship.
After receiving his MFA with honors in 2004 he was awarded the Walter Erlebacher Award for the study of Artistic Anatomy and one of the three distinguished NYAA year-long Post-Graduate Residencies – one of the Fellowship positions for the year 2005.
The NYAA Fellowship Residency includes a studio space to make your work, teaching assistant opportunities, and an exhibition at the culmination of the year-long endeavor in the Wilkinson Cast Hall in Tribeca.
Raphael exhibited numerous times in New York including two group shows in the Chelsea district, at The National Arts Club, The Salmagundi Club, The New York Academy of Art, four drawing exhibitions at the Medialia Gallery, and a solo exhibit in SoHo.
He has also exhibited at The Baltimore Museum of Art with the Maryland Artists Equity Foundation. He has been published in Denver Westword, Elle magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, The New York Times, Page Six of The New York Post, interviewed for the NY1 Arts report with Stephanie Simon and by Melena Ryzik for The New York Times Style section video short, and most recently in the new tome dedicated to contemporary figuration published by Rizzoli entitled “The Figure” and in the Huffington Post Arts Blog authored by Daniel Maidman.
Shortly after receiving a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship Grant in the Drawing/Bookmaking category in 2007 he began teaching Anatomical Drawing at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan in their undergraduate programs.
After leaving New York, working and tutoring adults and children across the country, he returned to Maryland where he was an assistant at the Carla Massoni Gallery, and taught drawing at both the Academy Art Museum in Easton and the undergraduate Drawing program of The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
Raphael has exhibited with the Massoni Gallery since 2006 and recently with the Sugarlift Gallery in Brooklyn in winter of 2016. He now again resides in Colorado where he continues his journey in the visual arts, teaches privately, and rides a motorcycle throughout the southwest as often as possible.