Eugène Brands preferred to withdraw to the familiar surroundings of his studio at home. There he created his own microcosm in which he surrounded himself with his main sources of inspiration, including world music, ethnography and knowledge about the universe. From this domestic environment, Brands used his work to reflect upon the macrocosm and the attendant existential questions about life.
Brands was only briefly involved with CoBrA. In his CoBrA period, Brands abandoned the surrealistic elements in his work and painted in a fluent, (lyrical) abstract style. His artistic output alternated between gouaches and large oil painting and ‘reliefs’ of painted wood and found materials. He shared his interest in folk art and surrealism with the other members of the CoBrA group.
Inspired by his CoBrA period and his daughter Eugénie, who started drawing around this time, Brands began making figurative work with a remarkably childlike visual idiom in 1951. It was the childish innocence of children’s drawings that appealed to him, but also the strangeness and sometimes sinister undertone. He longed to express himself in a similarly uninhibited manner.