Eric Rhein: Lifelines is a unique monograph-memoir spanning three decades of the artist’s life and work. The book features intimate photographs taken between 1989 and 2012. These include self-portraits and images of friends and lovers from the period between Rhein’s HIV diagnosis, his near death, and the eventual vitality that new medications would afford him. As a personal response to the AIDS crisis, these compelling portraits highlight tenderness and care as life-saving instincts. The book also includes watercolors, delicate assemblages, and wire drawings, notably his ongoing project "Leaves," an AIDS memorial honoring over 300 individuals that Rhein knew.
Rhein’s work embodies love, touch, connection to nature, and familial history. The artist draws from his Kentucky roots and his relationship with his uncle Lige Clarke—gay rights pioneer of the 1960s and 70s—as inspiration for his art and activism. Rhein mines collective and personal narratives, formulating pieces that are at once poetic and documentarian. Along with Rhein’s text, the book also features essays by National Book Award-winning poet Mark Doty, and former Institute 193 Director Paul Michael Brown. Of Rhein’s work, Mark Doty writes, “These images affirm the desiring self at a moment when desire had become dangerous...”
Description: 112 pages, 84 images reproduced in full color
Dimensions: 9 inches x 9.75 inches
Publisher: Institute 193