Having earned a degree from the South African School of Film, Television, and Dramatic Arts, Robin Rhode’s work largely consists of photographs and animations in which he often places himself as the subject. He is known to use various public places as his canvas, most often in the city of Johannesburg in his home country of South Africa. It varies from walls of buildings, to basketball courts, and sometimes even the street, but no matter what the setting, he is able to successfully create a piece that amuses or even amazes the viewer. This is reached through his personal placement into the piece, often captured on film to later create a series of photos or some sort of animation of a process or narrative. What adds to his work is the simplicity, his medium of choice varying between chalk (sometimes in the form of a shoe that’s fitted to his foot), paint, charcoal, or even soap! All of his pieces have a story or idea behind them, and they often have to do with modern day social concerns, but his pieces are so enjoyable because of the fun and silly manner in which he approaches his work. All the layers that make up Rhode’s work are what make it so intriguing and uniquely impressive.
I’ve always had an interest in and fascination with street art and graffiti, and Robin Rhode’s work takes that genre of art to a whole new level! The message that he tries to capture in his work and the manner in which he does so is what makes it so fascinating. He adds himself into the setting of his two-dimensional pieces and interacts with them, performing to entertain the audience he has gathered through this unique approach. There is no limit to his subject matter with all the social concerns we have today and he finds no difficulty in approaching any one that comes to mind. Every time he creates a piece, it’s simply an addition to the urban environment in which he is working because he does not attempt to change anything about its former state, but rather he picks a meaningful location for his idea and just works with what’s there to make his idea come to life. The visual deception in his work adds to his one-of-a-kind approach and artistic method of combining a two dimensional creation with our three dimensional world. It’s evident that Rhode’s work holds a much deeper meaning because of all the layers he includes and it’s the final product he is able to produce that draws so much attention to his work.