Collection Online
oil, gesso, cardboard and embossing on canvas
165.5 × 120.1 cm
Accession Number
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of the Joan Clemenger Endowment, Governor, 2001
© Courtesy of the artist
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

Raafat Ishak emigrated from Egypt as a teenager in 1982. His work collages references from contemporary media and art history to comment on the fragility of democracy and personal identity within rapidly changing cultures and political systems.

The disparate sources and reconfigurations of visual material in Ishak’s works reflect his experience of two cultures: his childhood in Egypt and formative adolescence and adulthood in Australia. Ishak’s visual language draws on contemporary imagery derived from mass media and popular culture yet his painstaking painting technique adheres to age-old traditions. Good government reflects Ishak’s interest in the continual evolution of contemporary culture, political systems and personal identity.