Stone Flag, 2004
Born in 1976, Robin Rhode is a mixed media artist from Cape Town, South Africa. Rhode instinctually immerses himself into his own work by documenting the production of his hand drawn creations, which utilize basic mediums as charcoal, chalk and raw wall surface. Arrangements of photo stills capture his work in progress and illustrate an almost staccato dance as he is shown manipulating and formulating his vision. Since most of his work is created on unprimed public wall surface, there is an strong element of street culture, tagging and graffiti art. Although currently based in Germany, Rhode often travels back to his native South Africa to create work within his own country where he references relative issues of poverty and social inequalities. One can compare Rhode’s basic techniques to those of Eadweard Muybridge. As a 19th Century English photographer, Muybridge was known for his research that sought to understand movement and rhythm through still capture. His sequenced photographic work deconstructed physical progression which in turn located patterns and repetition. Rhode takes these basic means of deconstruction several measures further. His aim is past basic movement and on to, for instance, socio-demographically conscious themes. Rhode is not only credited with success that lies in the aesthetic patterns and repetition unveiled in the evolution of his movement and thought, but also in his objectivity to the issues he touches upon.