Artist Eric Rhein


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Date/Time
Date(s) - Thursday, September 23, 2021
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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Join us on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 6:30 PM EST for a ZOOM conversation with artist Eric Rhein.

Presented in conversation with SNMA Executive Director Hunter O’Hanian, Eric will discuss his art and activism, as embodied in his monograph-memoir, ERIC RHEIN: LIFELINES.

The event is free, open to the public and conducted via ZOOM.
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About Eric’s Life’s Work

When Eric moved to New York in 1980, at age 18, he became active in the transformative East Village Arts scene—and his wide-ranging four decades of work are documented in Eric Rhein: Lifelines. This unique monograph-memoir features intimate photographs taken between 1989 and 2012—including the period of Rhein’s HIV diagnosis, his near death, and return to vitality. As a personal response to the AIDS crisis, these compelling portraits highlight tenderness and care as life-saving instincts. Included are related bodies of work: delicate assemblages and wire drawings which often serve as memorials for fallen friends. Rhein’s work embraces connection with nature and cultural heritage—especially drawing on his Kentucky roots, and his relationship with his Uncle Lige Clarke—a gay rights pioneer of the 1960’s and 70’s. Of Rhein’s work, poet Mark Doty wrote:  “These images affirm the desiring self at a moment when desire had become dangerous…”

 

About Eric Rhein

Eric Rhein has gained international recognition as an artist whose work embodies themes of love, sexuality, and identity as explored through his ever-evolving experience with HIV. He mines collective and personal narratives, formulating pieces that are at once poetic and documentary. In 1996 Rhein began his ongoing project Leaves, a memorial honoring the lives of over 380 individuals he knew who died of complications from AIDS. Eric has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, and his work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Huffington Post, ARTnews, Vanity Fair, and Art in America. He is included in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art’s Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project. New York Times critic Holland Cotter wrote of Rhein’s work: “…the combination of art and craft, delicacy and resiliency, feminine and masculine, is exquisitely wrought and is, as it should be, seductive but disturbing.”