Atang Tshikare is considered by many in the design world to be one of the most exciting prospects in the field to emerge in recent years. His style reflects contemporary South Africa and it's only a matter of time before his designs become recognisable around the world.
The series of works gets its curious title from Tshikare’s chance meeting in a Manchester bar with a white witch who was also a singer in a progressive rock band. The witch sensed Tshikare’s musicality. The interaction was difficult and weird but the foundation of a friendship was formed. What Atang took from it was to ‘not wait for a witch to tell you that youth what you are’. He interpreted that as self-acknowledgement being preferable to affirmation by others.
As the recipient of the prestigious Southern Guild ‘Future Found Award’ for 2014, Atang Tshikare is already setting a new precedent for global perceptions of African art and design. According to programmes director of 100% Design South Africa, Cathy O’Clery, “Atang’s work is redolent of a new dynamic urban dialogue that is emerging in the design consciousness of cities across Africa”, and one that challenges “all the clichés young Africans have to deal with”.
'Not by a witch' will consists of paintings of which some are portraits of inspirational friends including Athi-Patra Ruga and Isaac Zavale. The remainder of the works focus on African mythology alongside architectural references.
ATANG TSHIKARE / As Long As We Get There
Atang Tshikare has drawn himself on to the international map by participating in Design Days Dubai, exhibiting in Germany; and supplying small stores in Oslo, Sweden, which stock his work. He is also involved in several local design festivals and exhibitions.
The self-taught multidisciplinary artist applies his geometric line drawings to anything from sneakers to tables.
When asked about the rising recognition of his medium, Tshikare is adamant: "Street art will always trend because rules don't exist, everything is pirated and the only currency is being unique, fresh or provoking.
"Laws that criminalise street art challenge artists to find new means to keep their work relevant and trendy.
"This is how I've developed my street style and taken it to new levels. I've shown it to a different audience – one that could never walk into the gutters of downtown."