Thursday, May 20, 2010

Featured Artist: Robin Rhode

My entire life I've been enamored of art. Throughout my four years in college I studied it intently, religiously until I received a piece of paper which, if nothing else, says I've looked at a whole lot of art. Since graduating I've continued to invest time examining the world of art, not only in terms of its history, but its maturation, its evolution, its adaptation to ever present changes in other facets of the world. In a time when contemporary art is so all-encompassing, you'd think I'd be jaded to it all by now but every so often I encounter a new artist who reminds me of the joy and true beauty work can possess in the most literal sense. Robin Rhode is such an artist and upon seeing his current mini-exhibition as part of LACMA's Contemporary Exhibition series, I experienced a renewed excitement about the state of art.

Rhode is a thirtysomething South African-born artist who now lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Like some genius mix of Charlie Chaplin (for his performances), Banksy (for his "street" forum), and Jackson Pollock (for his action-drawing), the artist illustrates (usually by way of chalk, paint, or oil crayons) a prop or environment and then interacts with it accordingly. Often, video and photography becomes involved in the final product. Inspired by stop-action animation, his pieces are charming, whimsical, sad, joyful, and thoughtprovoking--sometimes all at once. A truly impressive trait of Rhodes' work is his mastery of each element from drawing skill to performance.

I hope you enjoy this samping of his work as much as I enjoyed did in encountering it. Stay tuned for the return of I Make Picture's assigned art projects, as I am currently working on one related to Rhode's work! Xo