Ras Silas Motse

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Ras Silas Motse

+27 73 912 9278

"My work is a therapeutic way of dealing with the issues it focuses on and it aims to give the audience my perspective and some comfort in those who experienced similar situations and beyond."


Johannesburg, South Africa

Ras Silas Motse is a South African contemporary, minimalist, Afro-centric, and Avant-Garde artist who works with a concept of capturing feelings and identity to narrate contemporary concepts.


He reflects on the inner and outer being through his portraiture works. Silas goes beyond the surface to try to find his own identity whilst questioning the nature of his everyday life.


His portraiture and mixed media art uses a concept of capturing feelings to narrate contemporary ideas using different African people.

He is currently working on a theme he calls                                                         which was inspired by Tom Feelings.

His calling was born and bred in Motlatla, Thabanchu, in the Free State. When he left high school, he went to study Fine Arts and a PGCE at the Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein. Then went on to work as a high school educator and now is a full-time artist.

It is through these blended memories and questioning of himself and the society that he grew up and still lives in that Silas produces his thought-provoking work.


My artistic practice involves me taking a psychological and spiritual journey back into my past to learn more about my status in society, how I can contribute and how people before me have contributed, regardless of their disadvantages and flaws.  

Through my work I create to learn more about myself and the world I live in. My work is inspired by the desire to learn, discover and explore. My process begins with thought through meditation, I follow a routine in my studio which starts by burning imphepo (smudge stick) to bring back images I dreamed of accompanied by music, readings and writings before it begins to take form as a visual project.

I follow an idea or concept where it leads me, and often end up somewhere quite unexpected.

My work is a therapeutic way of dealing with the issues it focuses on and it aims to give the audience my perspective and some comfort in those who experienced similar situations and beyond.

My journey has lead me to do more research about Africa and its people. I’ve always liked to show human emotions in life situations through my work. My portraiture practice is stylistically and structurally experimental, stemming from a desire to invoke the spirits deep within, those of our forefathers, as a means to seek peace and ask for guidance rooted in African knowledge systems. I have discovered that in order to move forward one needs to engage the past, to deal with it if you’re going to shape a future that reflects you.

Hence my ongoing series, which I call The Middle Passage Revisited, gives credit to Tom Feelings, who narrated the African Story of “The Middle Passage”. It investigates Africans and situations our ancestors endured when they were viciously uprooted from their homes and taken by European slave ships on the hideous sea journey across the Atlantic Ocean.  My portraiture work explores this a bit further with contemporary taste, fashion and ways of living by African people.    

Exhibitions & Projects

• Group exhibition, titled Absa Township Art Exhibition Crew competition in the Batho location,2013

• Group Exhibition at Touch of Genius Art Gallery in Randburg, 2017

• Silas Motse was also part of an international competition, Austrian Art Candid Cute Spring contest 17 and made it to the top 5,2017

• Group Exhibition at Soweto Theatre, titled Taking back the land of the mind,2018

• Solo Exhibition at The Reef Hotel, titled (Untold and Unseen Struggles), 2018

• Group-Public Exhibition at Mall of AFRICA by Art Miller Institute of Art, 2019

• Digital feature with SEE.ME at The Affordable Art Fair in New York, 2019

• Featured at the National Arts Festival together with The Cultural Exchange and Imiloa, 2019

• Curated: Conversations with Queens Group Exhibition, 2019

• Currently Winner of Peoples’s choice Award, State of the Art gallery Award 2019

• Solo Exhibition ( Bureaucracies of Rubbish: Recycling of Self Identity)at Eyethu Art Space (on going)2019

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