Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode is a South African born artist who now resides in Berlin, Germany. Rhode was born in 1976 in Cape Town and received his BA in Fine Art from Technikon Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and his postgraduate degree from the South African School of Film, Television and Dramatic Art, also in Johannesburg. Rhode skillfully combines various media, such as performance art, drawing, film and photography, into his compositions, which he often creates in public spaces and makes with easily accessible materials. Rhode addresses social injustices in a way that brings serious awareness to the issues he tackles, yet does so without weighing down the mood of his work, which is often light, playful and whimsical.

What I really like about Rhode’s work is that it is very simple, clean and very effective. He has a wonderful mastery of visual effects and a way with trompe l’oeil that is understated, yet very convincing. His video Candle is one of my favorites by him, because of the play between the exposures of the film juxtaposed with the figure’s lighting of the candle. I also did not realize that he was the artist who created the BMW Z4 add Expression of Joy. I really found this work to be interesting, not only because of the use of a car as a means for creating art, but because of the compositional components of the final work as well. Expression of Joy is both frenzied and calm, and both organic and linear. I love how Rhode also found such a novel way of interacting with the canvas as well, using the car to fill up the whole of the picture plane.