Born in Umtata in 1984, Athi-Patra Ruga lives and works in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. After his initiation to art at Belgravia Art College in London, he pursued his studies at the Gordon Flack-Davidson Design Academy, where he specialized in fashion design.
Athi-Patra Ruga is a multidisciplinary artist at the crossroads of fashion and contemporary art. He questions the notions of identity, alienation, and the symbiosis between the body and soul. His performances, videos, photographs and textile creations bring the viewer into a subversive and fantastic universe that is colored with provocation and eroticism.
As a renowned artist within the South African art scene, his work has been presented at major international events, among these, the 55th Venice Biennale and the Dakar Biennale in 2008. Additionally, Under Tinsel Sun was shown at the 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, and The Elder of Azania was shown at the MoMA in San Francisco, in 2014. In 2015, he received the Standard Bank Young Artist award for Performance Art during the National Arts Festival Grahamstown, in South Africa.
Image: Courtesy of Athi-Patra Ruga and WHATIFTHEWORLD.
Miss Azania, 2015,
Printed on Hahnemühle photorag baryta, 80 x 120 cm,
©Hayden Phipps, courtesy Whatiftheworld gallery