Robin Rhode, ‘S' Class Made in China’, 2010, Outset: Benefit Auction 2017


From the Catalogue:
For the South African artist Robin Rhode, drawing is never enough. He draws on gallery walls, then throws his body against the images he’s made, or drags his hands through the fresh chalk or charcoal. He draws in public places, in choreographed acts or in improvised, highly physical exertions. Drawing is not a stand-alone artistic medium; it forms part of a constellation of techniques, from performance to photography and video, which in turn informs a larger cluster of concerns, from his own childhood to the politics of urban space.

It would be a mistake to inscribe Mr. Rhode’s public drawings into a tradition of graffiti and street art, though he did have an early flirtation with break dancing. In South African cities, especially in the townships, walls were usually decorated not with individual tags but with political murals, often with messages of social inspiration and public protest. Mr. Rhode’s more abstract and poetic wall drawings have at least partial roots in that tradition, though the murals and installations of Sol LeWitt and Bridget Riley may also come to mind.
Source:, Jason Farago

Signature: Signed

Image rights: Donated by Robin Rhode Photo: Rhodeworks

About Robin Rhode

Working primarily in the streets of Johannesburg, Robin Rhode uses walls and sidewalks as the stage for his exuberant, narrative interventions and performances. Captured in serial photographs and stop-motion videos, Rhode’s work explores urban youth culture, socioeconomic inequality, and outgrowths of post-Colonialism. By creating absurd, impossible situations, like drawing a bicycle on a wall and attempting to ride it, Rhode references slapstick comedy and minstrel shows, expressing the struggle for equality and dignity with poignancy, humor, and poeticism.

South African, b. 1976, Cape Town, South Africa, based in Berlin, Germany