Born in the shadow of the UN building in NYC, KAI ERIC is a creative conceptualist with strong ties to NY’s underground art world. His extensive life experience has taken him into the realms of music, performance art, acting, writing, producing and directing. He spent four years in Montreal “studying” at McGill University and at the Actors Studio. He returned to NYC at the cusp of the 80’s as the city was becoming the dark capital of dysfunction populated by a peculiar collection of junkies, hoodlums, drag queens, runaways and, worst of all, art students. The crème de la crumbs. Like many, Kai Eric was drawn by a Warholian mythos and the dark romantic illusions of a Velvet Underground.
As a producer Kai Eric collaborated with Danny Vinik of BRINK Films in the making of “TV Party”, a documentary chronicling the seminal cable diversions of Glenn O’Brien. Kai was also a contributing writer and acting editor of the online counter culture magazine BRINK. Kai Eric hosted, with legendary artist Jim Sclavunos, a European produced multimedia art showcase “The Other Side”. As an actor, Kai Eric, had a leading role in Eric Mitchell’s independent film “The Way it Is”. Kai Eric was the one who organized bands to play at Club 57 and helped with the conceptualization of many of the events. Kai is a true genius in creating environments and atmosphere out of nothing. He had an amazing moving multimedia happening that was an immersive sensual experience called The Garden of Fuzz. Kai is also a very serious musician. He spent many years as a touring bass player with the bands Panther Burns, Death by Doll, Wreckless Eric and is currently working with singer songwriter, Deerfrance.
He is a founding member of the 80’s multimedia art nexus, Club 57. In those years he became friend and confidant of Jean Michel Basquiat. Kai Eric’s primitive love cave, his downtown apartment, became a regular crash pad and alternate studio for Basquiat. It was in that triangular room that NYC’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, Henry Geldzahler first contemplated and purchased early Basquiat canvases. Basquiat asked Kai Eric to accompany him to Italy where Jean Michel was to create significant canvases for Emilio Mazzoli. Kai Eric was a fixture on underground scene during NYC’s punk renaissance. He associated with Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Kenny Scharf, Nan Goldin, Ann Magnuson, Glenn O’Brien, Duncan Hannah, Peter Schuyff and many others. Kai Eric is credited for introducing Richard Hambleton to the NY art community. Kai Eric’s thoughts on Basquiat and the associated NY art movement are documented in Phoebe Hoban’s biography of Basquiat, in Tamra Davis’s documentary “The Radiant Child”, in Jennifer Clements “The Widow Basquiat” and numerous other interviews.