Raphael Soyer1899-1987 Born in Borisoglebsk, Russia, Raphael Soyer is identified as a Social Realist painter because of his interest in the common man.
Soyer moved with his family to the Lower East Side of New York City in 1913, after they were deported from Russia by the Tsarist regime.
The experience of immigrant life in the United States provided him with a rich source of imagery for his art. His most frequent model was himself. He did not accept commissions for his portraits because his interest was in the private person.
With his identical twin Moses, he painted murals for the post office in Kingessing, Pennsylvania. He also taught at the Art Students League. He was a co-founder of Reality magazine and champion of Realism at a time when Abstract Expressionism dominated the American art scene.