Rabatho Laka South African Graphic and Digital Artist

Rabatho Laka South African Graphic and Digital Artist

Rabatho Laka, from Johannesburg, South Africa, is a multifaceted creative talent, excelling as a visual artist, illustrator, and art director deeply rooted in the advertising industry. His journey into the realm of digital art commenced in 2019 and has seen him cultivate a robust online following over the past five years.

Laka’s artistic mission is steeped in the portrayal of a positive global perspective through the unique prism of African culture. His creations are a testament to his passion for narrating contemporary stories of Black culture, encapsulating a vibrant celebration of identity that leaves an indelible impact. His artistic journey traces back to his formative years, where as a budding cartoonist, art became the canvas for articulating his personal narratives.

“My work tells the story of a world of possibilities through modern Black identity and touches of Afro-surrealism. I enjoy telling visual stories that captivate the audience in a way that invokes relatability and commonalities in the real world.

Having honed his craft as a multimedia design student at the University of Johannesburg, and further cultivating his skills within the industry, art has become the means through which he breathes life into his stories. At the heart of his creative ethos lies his moniker “RL🎨ART,” a fusion of his initials, cleverly intertwined with a tongue-in-cheek nod to Ralph Lauren’s iconic emblem, emblematic of the horse’s cultural significance in Sesotho tradition. Additionally, through the persona of “Witness The Creator,” Laka imbues his work with a captivating wit and playfulness, inviting his audience to partake as witnesses to his artistic journey.

In his quest for inspiration, Laka draws from the wellspring of Afro-surrealism, finding creative kindred spirits in the artistry of luminaries such as Kerry James Marshall, Kadir Nelson, and Mary Sibande. Delving into art history, he finds himself influenced by the narrative ingenuity of René Magritte, the color mastery of Henri Matisse, and the contemporary allure of Geoff McFetridge’s graphic design background.

Rabatho Laka sees himself as a digital screen storyteller, weaving a tapestry of visual tales that resonate with vibrant authenticity.

“I believe in forming a connection with people by making art that captures the imagination. My work delves into an imaginative world to create a new reality. This reality is often amusing. I like to be expressive and depict abstract elements in the settings I create.”

Since the inception of his work, Rabatho has been recognised in various publications such as Between10and5 and Africa.com. He has been featured in editorials such as Vuuqa magazine, TrapxArt and the Set The Tone book between 2020-2022. His artwork has exhibited and sold at the Holy Art Museum in London, NFT NYC, Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal, and he most recently showcased his work at the Association for Visual Arts (AVA Gallery) in Cape Town in 2022.

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