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Athi-Patra Ruga

South African 1984- 

Athi-Patra Ruga is one of the few artists working in South Africa today whose work has adopted the trope of myth as a contemporary response to the post-Apartheid era. Ruga creates alternative identities and uses these avatars to parody and critique the existing political and social status quo. Ruga’s artistic approach of creating myths and alternate realities is in some way an attempt to view the traumas of the last 200 years of colonial history from a place of detachment – at a farsighted distance where wounds can be contemplated outside of personalized grief and subjective defensiveness. 

The philosophical allure and allegorical value of utopia has been central to Ruga’s practice. His construction of a mythical universe populated by characters which he has created and depicted in his work have allowed Ruga to create an interesting space of self-reflexivity in which political, cultural and social systems can be critiqued and parodied. Ruga has used his utopia as a lens to process the fraught history of a colonial past, to critique the present and propose a possible humanist vision for the future.


16 lots offered      81.25% sold      ZAR 4 791 893

Including Premium and VAT Results include Buyer's Premium and VAT
Athi-Patra Ruga; The Night of the Long Knives I
16 Feb 2019
Sold for ZAR 1 707 000
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Athi-Patra Ruga; ... noddy helps out
14 Mar 2016
Sold for ZAR 25 010
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Athi-Patra Ruga; The Ubiquitous Miss Robben Island 1984
12 Oct 2015
Sold for ZAR 170 520
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
Athi-Patra Ruga; The Brute
1 Jun 2015
Sold for ZAR 181 888
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT

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