Robin Rhode (b. 1976, Cape Town, South Africa) was raised in Johannesburg and graduated from the South Africa School of Film, Television and Dramatic Arts, Johannesburg, in 2000.
The Berlin-based multidisciplinary artist engages a variety of visual languages such as photography, performance, drawing, and sculpture to create arrestingly beautiful narratives that are brought to life using quotidian materials such as soap, charcoal, chalk, and paint. Coming of age in a newly post-apartheid South Africa, Rhode was exposed to new forms of creative expression motivated by the spirit of the individual rather than dictated by a political or social agenda. The growing influence of hip-hop, film, and popular sports on youth culture, as well as the community’s reliance on storytelling in the form of colorful murals, encouraged the development of Rhode’s hybrid street-based aesthetic. Melding individual expressionism with broader socio-economic concerns, Rhode’s work reveals a mastery of illusion, a rich range of historical and contemporary references, and an innate skill for blending high and low art forms.