Our collaboration

Rhode grew up in South Africa under apartheid rule, and unsurprisingly, his work reflects this through a heavily charged political and social stance. When apartheid ended in 1994, Rhode describes his feeling as, “a basic need for creating art as a political act in reclaiming space, to repositioning identity beyond a global periphery.”

Robin Rhode’s was one of two “colored” students in art school, a term commonly used for mixed races under apartheid. As such, he had a hard time dealing with authority and rejected traditional norms in search of new forms of expression. He would eventually find this form in a high school rite of passage for boys, where the older students would steal chalk in order to draw objects of desire on the bathroom walls.

“We’d force the younger kids into the toilet and force them to interact with the drawing. It was a form of initiation into the high school subculture.” – Robin Rhode

Having experienced both sides of the hazing ritual, he found the process entertaining and similar to a cycle of evolution. It would eventually come to be the core identity behind Rhode’s work.

300 skateboards exclusively designed by Robin Rhode were produced by THE SKATEROOM. These special boards were donated to Skateistan to cover their yearly needs worldwide, across their facilities in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa. A few of these boards will also be hand signed by Rhode and auctioned off to raise funds and awareness for Skateistan’s skate school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The five images selected for this collaboration with Robin Rhode were inspired by some of his most prominent outdoor artworks over the years. Rhode’s accessible pieces push urban culture forward, while often carrying a dark undertone about race and class.

Robin Rhode collaboration - THE SKATEROOM Editions

Supported Social Project

Art, education and skateboarding in South Africa

Project by Skateistan

Johannesburg, South Africa

Skateistan Skate School in South Africa
Credit: Goodpush Alliance - Skateistan South-Africa