Writing’s on the wall for Robin Rhode

Mail & Guardian | Athi Mongezeleli Joja:


Now based in Berlin, South Africa’s ‘poet of street art’ is back home with an exhibition that signals his intent to keep ‘flipping’ the art world.



What is it about “the artist” that still beguiles us today? Can we still talk of the artist’s “spirit of … both flame and fever” that JM Coetzee refers to in his novel Youth? Or has the artist merely become an investment outlet as opposed to a conveyor of truths, be they social or sensible?

The art world seems not only to have squelched the artist’s transgressive soul but also the performative veneer that, more often than not, remains with us. However, this is not the impression gained after my meeting with Berlin-based South African artist Robin Rhode, whose show Recycled Matter is on at Johannesburg’s Stevenson Gallery…


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