Sotheby’s African Art Auction

Athi Patra Ruga - Apparition - The Head of a Prophet (From The Beatification of Feral Benga cycle) [2018]-edited

Artwork from South Africa’s own Athi-Patra Ruga is set to take international stage once again at Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary African Art in London on 28th March 2018.

Ruga’s piece ‘The Exile According To The Elder’ will be auctioned off at an estimate between £20,000–30,000. His is just one of the carefully selected collections of paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures from 20th and 21st century Africa and the postcolonial era that will make up the auction.

Swaziland born artist Nandipha Mntambo, who is famous for her sculptures, videos and photographs focused on the human female body and identity will also have her works on auction including her 2008 Europa.

Other highlights from this second African Art dedicated Sotheby’s sale include works by Ibrahim Mahama, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Pascale Marthine Tayou as well as works by Mohau Modisakeng, El Anatsui, Irma Stern, Nicholas Hlobo, William Kentridge and Ben Enwonwu.

Ruga’s self portrait up for auction is part of a larger ongoing series in which he depicts himself as characters from his fictitious matriarchal nation of Azania.

The Elder of Azania, one of Ruga’s many Azanian alter egos and the only male inhabitant of the state is exiled after the First Azanian War (1994-2008). Ruga draws a direct comparison between the elder and his own father, who was exiled from South Africa during the country’s liberation struggle.


Featured Image: Athi-Patra Ruga, Apparition: The Head of a Prophet (From The Beatification of Feral Benga cycle), 2018. Wool and thread on tapestry canvas in Petit Point

165 x 145 cm; Image courtesy of Athi-Patra Ruga and WHATIFTHEWORLD