Second Realm

Eric P. Rhodes, Artist


Brutalist Mannequin Series

Category:

A Therapeutic Journey of Art and Self- Discovery

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In the creation of the Brutalist Mannequins series, I initially found myself exploring the labyrinth of my own psyche, a terrain shaped by a 37-year battle with anxiety and depression. This series emerged in the aftermath of a profound six-month psychological crisis that began in February 2019.

Unexpectedly, about a year after the completion of the series, an unforeseen narrative layer emerged. For only the second time, I surveyed the ensemble of works in its entirety, and was struck by an inadvertent revelation. I had unconsciously narrated not only my mental health journey but also the unraveling of my 12-year relationship.

This intimate disclosure about my relationship was unplanned, an unbidden confessional manifesting in my art. My subconscious, it seemed, seized this opportunity to process this deep-seated emotional turmoil.

The Brutalist Mannequins series is thus not just an artistic endeavor, but a cathartic exploration and a testament to personal growth. It’s an invitation for viewers to delve into the complexities of human emotions, relationships, and the healing power of self-expression.

Each piece’s name functions as an emotional signpost, guiding the viewer through the stages of my deeply personal journey of mental health struggles and the end of a significant relationship.

Falling Apart Together (BM1, 2020) – A poignant juxtaposition of words that suggests both conflict and unity. It represents the early stages of my relationship’s breakdown, where even as things began to unravel, there was still a sense of shared struggle.

Anger. Hostility Towards the Opposition. (BM2, 2020) - Captures the raw emotional intensity that can arise in personal and mental battles. "Opposition" symbolizes external challenges, such as societal pressure or personal relationships, or internal o

Anger. Hostility Towards the Opposition. (BM2, 2020) – Captures the raw emotional intensity that can arise in personal and mental battles. “Opposition” symbolizes external challenges, such as societal pressure or personal relationships, or internal ones, such as combating depression and anxiety.

I Am Who I Am (BM3, 2020) – A turning point, a moment of self-realization and acceptance. It’s an assertion of identity that shows resilience in the face of adversity.

Get Out of My ⱧɆ₳Đ! (BM4, 2020) – Underscores the intrusive nature of mental health struggles, emphasizing the need for respite from consuming thoughts

Seeing Red Again (BM5, 2020) – Denotes a recurring experience of anger or frustration, a recurring theme in both mental health and relationship breakdowns.

Tearing Me Up: How You See Me (BM6, 2020) – “Tearing Me Up: How You See Me” and “Tearing Me Up: How I Feel” exhibit the duality of internal and external perceptions. The first expresses feelings of being misunderstood or misperceived, while the second reveals internal turmoil.

Tearing Me Up: How I Feel (BM7, 2020) – “Tearing Me Up: How You See Me” and “Tearing Me Up: How I Feel” exhibit the duality of internal and external perceptions. The first expresses feelings of being misunderstood or misperceived, while the second reveals internal turmoil.

I Want to Break Free (BM8, 2020) - Indicates a desire for liberation—either from the confines of a relationship, personal mental health struggles, or perhaps both.

I Want to Break Free (BM8, 2020) – Indicates a desire for liberation—either from the confines of a relationship, personal mental health struggles, or perhaps both.

Remember that Time When We (BM9, 2020) – Suggests a reflection on shared memories, a look back at happier moments that contrast with the present turmoil.

Loneliness Can Be Beautiful (BM10, 2020) – Represents a phase of coming to terms with solitude, recognizing it as a space for growth and self-discovery, rather than just isolation.

Imagine, A Future Without You (BM11, 2020) – Seems like a prelude to the eventual end, a contemplation of existence beyond the relationship.

Goodbye, My Love: A ReGenesis (BM12, 2020) – Signifies closure and the start of a new chapter. It encompasses the dual sentiment of a heartfelt farewell and a hopeful dawn of renewal.

Pleasure (2022) – Signifies my emergence into a state of acceptance and enjoyment of life again, a reward of sorts after a long journey through emotionally challenging terrain.