A native of the Hudson Valley, ERIC RHEIN spent his childhood summers in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. This instilled in him a love of nature and mountain mythology that have an ongoing influence on his work.
As an adult, Rhein’s communion with nature has extended to New York’s Fire Island, were the ocean shore merges into grass-blanketed dunes and mystical pine forests. There he began his series of delicate wire renderings that merge nude, male human forms with the anatomy of animals and plant life. Also inspired by the enchantment of the woods and the sea are Rhein’s assemblages that integrate traditional photography with an array of found objects, as well as, bronze and sterling silver castings of leaves, twigs and branch clippings. At the center of this work is a series of self-portraits which along with Rhein’s other pieces evoke humanity’s fellowship with the natural world.
Rhein’s primary residence has been in New York City since 1980 when he received a full scholarship to attend School of Visual Arts. Reviews of his artwork have appeared in Art in America, Interview, The New York, Times, Time Out New York, Village Voice, Metrosource, POZ, Dutch Elle, and Vanity Fair. Grants and fellowships include the Pollock/Krasner Foundation, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb, and The MacDowell Colony.