Eric K. Lerner

b.1961

Eric K. Lerner is a self-taught artist. In the mid-1990’s he began creating votive pieces employing mixed media, acrylic, and digital manipulation. Soon, he began working as a graphic designer and illustrator. His clients included the BBC, Science Magazine, IBM, Marriott Corporation and Right Hemisphere. He also produced posters, t-shirts and publications for a number of AIDS service providers and advocacy organizations, including: AIDS Research Information Center, Health Education Resource Organization, Maryland State Health Department, ACTUP, and the American Indian Center. By 2004, he stopped working in digital media almost entirely to focus on illustration work using traditional techniques. He also studied Buddhist thangka painting. By 2008, he realized that most of the works that initially inspired him to pursue the visual arts were old etchings, engravings and woodcuts. He sought a formal education in printmaking that continues through the present. He now studies silkscreen. As a fine artist, Lerner has exhibited and sold work in the United States, the U.K., Australia and Italy. His 2012 release of a hand-crafted major arcana tarot, Radiant Spleen Tarot, appeared to favorable reviews and sold out. He has work included in the permanent collection of the Museo dei Tarocchi in Bologna. So far in 2016 he has exhibited at the Singing Soul Gallery, Kent, UK, and the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD. This year he received a Ratcliffe Scholarship to pursue entrepreneurial studies and develop his own business. Lerner has been included in the Visual AIDS Artist Registry and received material grants from that organization since 2008.

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A lot of my work portrays points in which liminal boundaries break down. Frequently, the triggers may be some type of sex, violence, outlandish behavior or tragedy. I don’t view these as sensational elements. Rather they are phenomena that depart from ordinary routine. The purpose of depicting them is to cause the viewer to examine the subject’s circumstance from a different perspective and thus intuit a point where boundaries between exoteric and esoteric reflect one another. Even though I operate often from a specific religious or narrative focus, I do not like explaining what is going on in an image explicitly. I’d rather the viewer create his or her own narratives. Often I find their interpretations more intriguing than my own.

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