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Robin Rhode

Robin Rhode
  • PublishedMarch 21, 2020

Berlin is a mecca of creativity and street art. It is a city with a bohemian spirit where many artists have found refuge since the fall of the Berlin wall.

It is not surprising that such a cosmopolitan complex is home to a former victim of a racial wall, the South African Robin Rhode — the one who elevated the freeze frame in the art world.  

A graduate of the Witwatersrand Technikon School of Fine Arts and a native of Cape Town, he continued his studies at the South African School of Film, Television and Performing Arts in Johannesburg. There he gradually shaped his art combining performance and graffiti.

His art takes hold of the walls with charcoal, chalk, coal and everyday objects. Drawing is his outlet.  Through performance he projects photographs or videos depicting a ballet of characters. Movement is his testimony. In his works, real machines to go back in time, frescoes from ancient Egypt to technological appendages.

Nostalgic and proud of his background, Robin borrows chalk techniques from the walls of Johannesburg in the 80s.That era was filled with messages of protest, which served as a backdrop for anti-apartheid riots.

Even if he is able to interact with the news, the artist removes himself from any political intention. He prefers to be considered a singer of Johannesburg’s subculture. According to Robin, he would be content to just perpetuate a practice of the community that he saw growing up.

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