Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode is a 30-something video and street artists who was born in South Africa. He received a diploma in Fine Arts in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed a postgraduate program at the South African School of Film, Television and Dramatic Art there as well. He now lives in Berlin, Germany.

Most of his art is made “on the street” using a variety of media. It is often performance based. He acts out his art in 3 dimensional space using drawn objects. The drawings are done with charcoal, chalks and paint. He draws objects that people interact with, creating sequences of photography and digital animation–he photographs or video tapes the process.

The interdisciplinary approach combines performance, happening, drawing, film and photography together. He works in ordinary spaces, using walls, basketball courts, or the streets. His works in South Africa often deal with social issues such as poverty and social inequity in a playful and positive manner—simply and without judgment. “This narrative practice goes back to an initiation ritual at South African high schools – that Rhode himself experienced – where new students are forced to draw and interact with their drawing. Rhode’s reference to this event takes this social gesture further into a playful mode of *addressing cultural phenomena. Rhode’s stories often include a moment of conflict and possible failure.” (quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Rhode)

My Take: Rhodes work is innovative, reminding the viewer of such performance artists as Marcel DuChamps. It is intriguing and interesting to watch him interacting with a drawing on a vertical surface or on a horizontal surface as well. His drawings are simple, the concepts imaginative, and the impact of the viewer is to engage him/her in the work and analyze how it is done from a practice viewpoint.

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