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Rapping it with Ras Silas

Over 290 entries were submitted from some of SA’s most talented creatives, and from the entries, the final 4 winners were chosen, Ras Silas Motse is one of them, a visual artist and self-proclaimed maker of things. Ras dabbles in various disciplines of the visual arts and has a bold, vibrant style for his murals. He is also currently pursuing art in fashion as well as providing tutoring and workshops for fellow creatives wanting to learn more.


What sparked your interest in art?

Art for me it’s a calling, i have no way out of it, it’s what i’m destined for. The amount of people my work healed and continues healing pushes me to work even harder.  I know that every time i pick up a spray can, a paint brush or a piece of charcoal, it’s the universe calling, i know i have a mission to accomplish. 
Firstly, for me, Art can be able to express people’s emotions, thoughts. It allows me to communicate my innermost feelings and experiences with the world. The desire to channel my emotions through artistic creation allows me to heal from a day, week, moment and a lifetime of experiences. It offers a unique opportunity for self-exploration and self-discovery. Through the process of creating art, i uncover hidden talents, explore different styles and techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me.

Secondly, Art has the ability to tell stories and convey messages in a visual and symbolic manner. I am driven by a desire to tell stories, of my personal journey, my people and the universe, art provide a powerful platform for me to share narratives and engage with others. As a person who went through a very tough upbringing, it provides me with an opportunity to heal and those like me.  

The work of other artists, whether renowned masters or contemporary creators, serve me with major source of inspiration. Seeing their creativity, unique perspectives, and innovative techniques spark my own artistic curiosity and motivate me to explore new artistic avenues. Art has the power to connect people and bridge cultural gaps. If you are motivated by the idea of communicating with others, art can serve as a universal language that transcends boundaries and allows for meaningful connections. 

Lastly, the beauty and aesthetics i found in art are driving forces for me. The desire to create visually captivating and aesthetically pleasing works it has been everything for me, trying all the Geometrical shapes and colours of the world together pushes me. Engaging in art provides me with a sense of personal growth, fulfilment, and accomplishment. My process of creating art, learning new techniques, and honing my skills is deeply rewarding, its meditation for me , its safe heaven.  I am able to escape the wold and come back and continues to motivate me to push the boundaries of my artistic abilities.

What are the main themes in your art and why are those the main themes?

Firstly, i create african art, like i said.  i have been in the quest to figure out self, and heal those around me. 

As an artist i believe that we are mirrors of self  In the eyes of our communities, we are powerful tools to drive change and emancipation. So this have been the theme for me to allow people to see themselves in my art to relate especially for those who are marginalised.  

My signature style i call it Afrikan Geometry , its my DNA , its my voice, is who i am. Afrikan Geometry is a concussion of emotions, my background, people around my , places that i have travelled, its a representation of everyone regardless of our demographics. 

I have since been in a quest to explore it, i have painted almost everywhere, skin, canvases, cars, bridges, walls almost anywhere i can male a mark. It have been pulling me to explore it and bring it to the people as far as i can.

Abstract shapes, faces and also visual cues from graffiti are seen in your pieces. Is that the staple of your work? 

Yes !, Afrikan Geometry , sparks and explore of shapes as a representation of our diversity, colour, vibrancy and clues that links us to  places that we as people occupies. 

It provides us we meaning and memories in space and time. Wherever you go, someone has been there too. Therefore it gives us an opportunity to relate. and tell our own stories.

What does being a part of this initiative mean to you and how do you plan on spending the prize money to elevate your creative skills?

Being part of an initiative for me brings that excitement of learning new things and becoming part of people like me. Mostly looking forward to see how people who structured it succeeding with their plans for creatives makes me super inquisitive.    

The price money came at the right time where i have been struggling with my old laptop to do my admin and create my references for when i get a project to work on. This is going to relieve alot of running around when I have to send a simplest things like a Quotation. 

It’s going to assist me to be able to properly prep my sketch on a bigger screen, to be able to pin point. proportions and imagine my work properly prior execution. To be able to do a proper preliminary research for all my upcoming series of works. I give humble thanks to 4th Street for this initiative and I can’t for more to come from it!