The artist Eric Rhein, a native of New York’s Hudson Valley, spent his childhood summers in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. This experience instilled in him a love of nature and mountain lore, both ongoing influences on his work. As an adult, Rhein’s appreciation of nature extended to New York’s Fire Island, where the water’s edge merges with grass-blanketed dunes and mystical pine forests. Inspired by the human form within this environment, Rhein began his series of refined and passionate wire drawings that blend male nudes with animal and plant life, creating hybrid figures of provocative power.
Rhein explains: “What matters to me is the interconnectedness, sympathetic relationships, and sensual commonalities of all things in the natural world. Images of nature are used as a metaphor for the cycles of human experience: birth, life, death, and regeneration.”
Eric Rhein’s work has been widely exhibited in both national and international museums and exhibition spaces, including: Sculpture Center; White Columns; Artists Space; Art in General; Lincoln Center, Morris Museum, New Jersey; Portland Museum of Art, Oregon; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, England; Pera Museum, Istanbul; American Embassy, Malta; Ambassadorial Residence, Cameroon; Leslie-Lohman Gallery, New York; Jonathan Edwards College, Yale University; and the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition for the Millennium.