Rafik El Kamel is frequently described as a prominent ‘second-generation’ artist owing to the Tunisian painter’s innovative and dynamic work produced in 1960s, when he developed his idiosyncratic style. El Kamel and his peers ushered in a mode of practice, which reflected on its cultural roots as well as the new prospects offered by mixed-media practice. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Tunis and later at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris, France, where he became interested in the potential for pure expression in painting. Upon his return to Tunis, El Kamel was made professor at the School of Fine Arts.
Since 1966, El Kamel has been exhibiting work which can now be found in prestigious collections such as the Kinda Foundation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His work has been shown at the Arab World Institute in Paris; Salon de Mai in Paris; the Cairo Biennale in Cairo, Egypt; and the Latvian Museum of Foreign Art in Riga, Latvia. Living and working in Djerba, El Kamel frequently exhibits his work there and across Tunisia.