Robert Rorich is from Mpumalanga White River. He is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UCT and hopes to become a full time artist someday.
The two boys playing soccer - untitled
This sculpture is not about much more than you can see. It isn’t specifically South African but I did definitely draw inspiration from our country and our people before making this work.
It was sculpted in 2015.
The two athletes, in the instant of the final physical and mental push before crossing the finish line, have not yet crossed the finish line. They are locked in their massive and all-encompassing endeavors to win their race.
This work is of a Black man and a White man competing in a ‘Cultural Race’ that is – in some places more competitive while in others more collaborative – still alive in a Young, Free South Africa.
It was sculpted in 2015.
The two boys – balancing and hanging – also untitled
This work was initially made at school in grade 11 with the theme of “Dreams and the Surreal” given to us by our art teacher. Here is a short rational of that work:
Dreams and the Surreal
The two figures are experiencing two opposing directions of gravitational pull, the bottom figure down and the top one up.
This sculpture is directly representative of my dreams. After much contemplation and analyzing of what I remember about my dreams, I realized that my dreams are always filled with visually preconceived individual parts and it is only when these individual parts are put together in the most obscure and weird scenarios that my dreams – every night – become surreal.
Doing a handstand or hanging by one hand while holding a helium balloon are two very possible things to do and see separately. Only when the two figures are put together with one turned upside-down does the surreal element come in, with the idea of inverse gravity pulling the two figures apart. The excitement, the disbelief, the terror and adrenaline-rush of hanging above an endless fall and the weightlessness of performing an endless handstand are common emotions and sensations that are frequently woven into my dreams.
During my matric year (2013) the school and its board asked me to make a larger statue to put in our school fountain (at the time there was an incredible Dylan Lewis on loan in the fountain). So I made a second one that was 3m tall and used it for my matric final artwork, this was the rationale for that artwork with the given theme of “Ordinary Extraordinary”:
Matric Rational - Ordinary Extraordinary.
The two ordinary figures are in the extra-ordinary situation of experiencing separate gravitational pulls in opposite directions. If the hanging figure were to let go he would fall into the sky while the other would lose balance and fall to the ground, the helium balloon reiterates the direction of gravity for the hanging figure.
The two boys here share an extra-ordinary relationship, as they need each other indefinitely to be kept from falling their respective downward ways. This physical relationship is impossible but can be seen as an emotional friendship too.
In 2014 – slightly over year after finishing the 3m sculpture and realizing what one can do with clay I decided to remake the small original with the intention to sell it to the public and through galleries – I am far happier with this ‘new’ sculpture than the original. You could say the new sculpture is a combination of the initial two.