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  • Provenance

    Galerie Gebauer GmbH, Berlin.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Robin Rhode approaches his multidisciplinary and unconventional art practice through the high energy of street inventiveness and youth culture, often drawing on the subcultural codes of hip hop, popular sports, film, and fashion to render the everyday as art. A self-proclaimed ‘revolutionary contemporary artist’, his strategic interventions in galleries and public spaces explore issues of culture, identity, history, and the socioeconomic realities of a South Africa newly welcomed back into the global fold. Utilising lo-fi techniques such as charcoal drawing, performance, and simple computer animations, he transforms the quotidian into humorous, evocative experiences laced with sharp commentary on the politics of leisure, global branding, and the commodification of youth cultures.
    Rhode's visual and conceptual alphabet is built around issues of desire, loss, and dislocation in a capitalist world while also acknowledging the specific indignities of growing up ‘coloured’ in formerly apartheid South Africa. For instance, ‘Park Bench’ (2000) was a life-size drawing of said object on the wall of the Parliament building in Cape Town, in an area that used to be off-limits to all but white South Africans. Dressed in dark, hooded clothing associated with trouble-making youths, Rhode then proceeded to loiter around his bench and was eventually arrested for defaming state property. Likewise, in ‘Car Theft’ (1998/2003), he uses various obj ects to attempt to break into a car he has drawn on the gallery wall, highlighting his signature method of attempting to playfully transform flat renderings of everyday objects into illusory three-dimensional ones through his physical interactions. Very much a provocateur and cultural subversive, he shares conceptual links with artists as varied as Marcel Duchamp, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and David Hammons. Yet, these ‘high art’ associations do not negate his equally strong ties to popular cultural phenomena such as rappers Wu-Tang Clan, the Nike brand, graffiti art, and music-video director Hype Williams.
    Olukemi Ilesanmi, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
     

97

Motorbike

2001
Twenty-eight colour coupler prints, Diasec mounted.
21 x 27.9 cm. (8 1/4 x 11 in).
Number 2 from an edition of 3 plus 2 artist's proofs. Accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authenticity.

Estimate
£4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for £25,000

Photographs

22 Nov 2008, 3pm
London