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Robin Rhode Art

South African, b. 1976

Robin Rhode engages photography, performance, drawing, and sculpture in creating visual narratives that are brought to life using quotidian materials such as soap, charcoal, chalk, and paint.

Rhode came of age in the newly post-apartheid South Africa and 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.

Rhode is best known for his photographic series that document a sole protagonist interacting with murals the artist painted on public walls in Johannesburg and Berlin. In the succession of photographs, the movements of the actor appear to alter the two-dimensional renderings, compressing space and time and transforming the urban landscape into a fictional storyboard. Melding individual expressionism with broader socioeconomic 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.

Using the street corner as his studio, Principle of Hope is photographed against a ruined wall in a township in Johannesburg. Here, the glimmer of an answer resides in geometry – the necessary illusion of perfectibility. A spiral wall is rendered in painted grey tones to create the visual impression of heavy stacked concrete bricks. The painted concrete spiral evolves upwards towards a blue sky, a metaphor for an imaginary utopia. Moving between abstract speculation and visceral record, the artwork takes as a point of reference the philosopher Ernst Bloch’s book published in three volumes in the 1950s titled The Principle of Hope in which the author explores utopian impulses present in art, literature, religion and other forms of cultural expression, and envisages a future state of absolute perfection.

Find original Robin Rhode art on 1stDibs.

(Biography provided by Lehmann Maupin)

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Principle of Hope
By Robin Rhode
Located in New York, NY
Robin Rhode (b. 1976, Cape Town, South Africa; lives and works in Berlin) engages photography, performance, drawing, and sculpture in creating visual narratives that are brought to l...
Category

2010s Robin Rhode Art

Materials

C Print

Square Triptych
By Robin Rhode
Located in New York, NY
Robin Rhode (b. 1976, Cape Town, South Africa; lives and works in Berlin) engages photography, performance, drawing, and sculpture in creating visual narratives that are brought to l...
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Early 2000s Robin Rhode Art

Materials

C Print

Wall of Water print by Robin Rhode, 2015 (white)
By Robin Rhode
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One chromogenic print, 2015, from the edition of 27, signed on a label that accompanies the print, sheet: 770 by 770 mm, 30 1/4 by 30 1/4 inches. Published by Lincoln Center for the ...
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2010s Contemporary Robin Rhode Art

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Robin Rhode art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Robin Rhode art for sale. You can also search art by Robin Rhode in print and more by medium. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 21st Century and Contemporary, and is mostly associated with the Contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Robin Rhode art, so small editions measuring 30 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Dominique Blain, Roland Fischer and Jamali. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $3,000 and tops out at $92,000 while the average work can sell for $55,000.

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