In 2003, I created one of my most surreal and iconic paintings titled "Brother Eric." The inspiration for Brother Eric came from a surreal caricature I saw at the Society of Illustrators in New York. At that time, I had only been painting for three years and was still trying to figure out my medium and develop my artistic point of view. When I encountered the oil painting at the Society, my interest was sparked, and I wanted to create something similar using my own artistic voice.
Sometime later, while I was at a bookstore in the mall, I came across a jazz calendar featuring Eric Dolphy on the cover. Though I had no idea who he was, I felt the same connection to the image as I did with the painting at the Society of Illustrators. I knew I was going to create a painting, but I faced a dilemma. I wasn't sure if I wanted to create a character or a caricature. Since I aimed to convey a mood, I decided to create a character because the identity of the person wasn't crucial for this particular project. As I started developing the design, the final product matched exactly what I had envisioned in my mind. The overall mood of the piece aligned with the feeling I had experienced at the Society of Illustrators. Despite being a surreal character, I chose to name the painting "Brother Eric."
"Brother Eric," along with four other paintings and drawings, became some of my first self-published images and has remained a consistent seller for the last 20 years. If you're interested in owning a lithograph or canvas reproduction of "Brother Eric," you can purchase it from my website, www.OrondeKairi.com.