14th Feb, 2020 20:00

Aspire X PIASA | Modern & Contemporary African Art

Lot 94
Lot 94 - Athi-Patra Ruga (South Africa 1984-)


Athi-Patra Ruga (South Africa 1984-)
The Future White Woman of Azania II

,from an edition of 5 + 3AP

Artwork date: 2012
Signature details: archival inkjet print on cotton rag paper

Sold for R227,600
Estimated at R150,000 - R200,000


,from an edition of 5 + 3AP

Artwork date: 2012
Signature details: archival inkjet print on cotton rag paper


120 x 90 cm


Multidisciplinary artist Athi-Patra Ruga’s work is centred around avatars that live out exaggerated plotlines woven by the artist in a soap-opera-style fantasy narrative, all situated in the imagined nation-state of Azania. For Ruga, Azania is a utopia which exists concurrently in both pre- and post-Apartheid South Africa, and where he addresses issues of social transformation in the country.The Afrofuturistic citizens of Azania live lives of excess in bold hues and extravagant textures. Pictured here is the Future White Woman of Azania (FWWOA), strutting in brightly coloured balloons that exude opulence. The main protagonist in Ruga’s saga, the artist describes the character as “…too cute to be true.”[1] Since 2008, Ruga has performed the FWWOA several times, including at Campo dei Frari during the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.Athi-Patra Ruga is one of South Africa’s leading artists, and was presented with the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2015. In 2017, his work was included in Art Afrique at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, and in 2018/19 he presented a solo show Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions at Somerset House, London.

Lisa Truter


[1] Sawa, D. Athi-Patra Ruga’s Best Photography: A Queer Black Fantasia with Added Zebras. The Guardian. 10 October 2019. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/oct/10/athi-patra-ruga-best-photograph-black-queer-women-south-africa.

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Auction: Aspire X PIASA | Modern & Contemporary African Art, 14th Feb, 2020

Aspire Art Auctions partnered with Paris-based house Piasa, to introduce an Africa-focused auction presenting some of the best examples of modern and contemporary art produced on this continent. This was the first time an African and European auction house partnered to present a sale of African art, in Africa, for a global audience. 

The sale included 139 artists representing 27 countries from Africa and the diaspora and spotlighted key collecting segments from 20th century modernism to contemporary production and photography. The lead-lot, Marlene Dumas’ Oktober 1973 achieved a stellar R7,055,600 well above its high estimate of R3-5 million. Also on offer were some of the most in-demand African artists including Chéri Samba, Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, Gareth Nyandoro, Mustafa Maluka and William Kentridge.

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