Commemorating a crisis: the first monograph on Eric Rhein, poetical chronicler of the AIDS epidemic in photos, drawings and assemblages
This is the first book on the work of American artist Eric Rhein (born 1961), whose career has spanned four decades. This unique monograph-memoir features intimate photographs, taken between 1989 and 2012. The self-portraits and images of friends and lovers correspond to the period spanning Rhein's HIV diagnosis, his subsequent near death and his experience of a renewed sense of vitality. 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."
As a personal response to the AIDS crisis, Rhein's compelling portraits highlight tenderness and care as life-saving instincts.
Included are related bodies of work: delicate assemblages and wire drawings, often serving as memorials for fallen friends. Rhein's photography, wire drawings, sculpture and watercolors honor love, touch, connection to nature, and familial history. Rhein mines collective and personal narratives, formulating pieces that are at once poetic and documentarian. Mark Doty and Paul Michael Brown contribute essays.
About the Author
Mark Doty is the author of more than ten volumes of poetry and three memoirs. His many honors include the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, and, in the UK, the T. S. Eliot Prize. He is a professor at Rutgers University and lives in New York City.