Entries in the 'Art' Category

April 3, 2007

Papua New Guinea Art in Menlo Park

Filed under: Art,San Francisco,Shopping,Tiki,Trader Vic's — Humuhumu @ 6:18 pm
Papua New Guinea tiki at Xanadu Gallery
Papua New Guinea tiki at Xanadu Gallery

This past weekend, we stumbled across a little gallery that has a wonderful collection of Papua New Guinea art. It’s called Xanadu Gallery, and it’s in Menlo Park, just north of Stanford University. It’s owned by the same fellow who is part owner of the Palo Alto Trader Vic’s, and he was responsible for the Papua New Guinea art on display there. That makes three different spots full of Papua New Guinea art, all within just a couple of miles: the Trader Vic’s, the sculpture garden at Stanford, and Xanadu Gallery. The Stanford sculpture garden is unrelated to the other two.

Most of the art was from Papua New Guinea, but there were also examples of Tahitian and Marquesan art, including a gorgeous outrigger canoe. There were tikis, masks, war clubs, drums, canoes… just an overwhelming array of gorgeous tiki art. About 1/2 – 1/3 of it was for sale, the rest is part of the owner’s private collection. I’ve posted a bunch of pictures in a thread on Tiki Central, and also at Humuhumu’s Life in Photos. There is another Xanadu Gallery location in San Francisco with even more art, hopefully I’ll get a chance to check it out soon.

December 2, 2006

North Hollywood: Tiki Wonderland at Tonga Hut

Filed under: Art,Events,Los Angeles,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:17 pm
Tiki Wonderland at Tonga Hut
Tiki Wonderland at Tonga Hut

After the huge success of last month’s shindig at the Tonga Hut, they’ll be throwing another soiree, on Saturday, December 16, from 7 p.m. to midnight. It’s a mug release party and a one-night-only art show. Two mugs will be debuted there: Tiki Farm’s new Marqo Pollo mug by SeƱor Calamar (a.k.a. Squid), and Tiki Diablo’s new Dia de los Marquesos mug. There will be art on display by Bosko, Atomikitty, Crazy Al, Derek Yaniger and more. I suspect there will be a return of Grog’s stupefying art rocks, as he’s organizing the event — be sure to get yours. There will be some drink specials, and better yet — they’re making sure to have an extra bartender on hand, dedicated to making tropical drinks all night long (apparently, there was a tragic tropical drink shortage at last month’s event). Tonga Hut is at 12808 Victory Blvd. in North Hollywood. It’s already looking like there’s going to be a great turnout of fun tiki-lovin’ people.

Tiki Meets Giger

Filed under: Art,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:51 pm
Scott & Thayer's Bamboo Crazyness
Scott & Thayer’s Bamboo Crazyness

My friends Scott & Thayer recently picked up this remarkable piece of furniture from an Asian decor warehouse that is going out of business. It’s a sort of chaise longue, made of bamboo that is twisted around into something grotesque. It looks to me like a chair H. R. Giger might create if he was asked to do decor for a tiki bar. Bamboo doesn’t bend well after it has been harvested, so most furniture is made from the similar looking, but bendable, rattan. This bamboo likely bent as it grew, and the most gnarled bits are likely bamboo roots. Thayer says the invoice called the chair “BAMBOO CRAZYNESS,” which sounds about right.

November 22, 2006

Severed Head Mug Sculpt, by Nacho

Filed under: Art,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:45 pm
Sculpt for Severed Head mug, by Nacho
Sculpt for Severed Head mug, by Nacho

Bay Area artist Nacho (who was responsible for the massive and awe-inspiring Ku tiki bar seen at Forbidden Island’s sale event and at Viva Las Vegas) has created this stunningly faithful reproduction of the famous Ren Clark Severed Head mug. What is even more impressive is that Nacho has never actually seen the mug in person; he was able to create this sculpt using only photographs of the mug he found online. I think that Nacho’s version is actually an improvement — the shaping of his face is more realistic without losing its style, and has cleaner shaping and details. I can’t wait to see it in mug form — Nacho plans to paint it as true to the original as possible, right down to the pink and red blood drips. Aside from Nacho’s obvious sculpting skills, he’s an experienced painter, specializing in hot rods and classic cars.

Nacho is dropping off the sculpt this week to be turned into a mold; he hopes to be able to produce as many as 150 of this mug, and will be selling it exclusively on Tiki Central. He is also producing his own, sinister take on Tiki Bob, which will be sold through eBay. You can see more photos of Nacho’s takes on the Severed Head and Tiki Bob in this album on Humuhumu’s Life in Photos.

November 18, 2006

Well-Done Cartoony Tikis

Filed under: Art,Australia & New Zealand,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:06 pm
Illustration by Onno Knuvers
Illustration by Onno Knuvers
Tiki Bob's logo
Tiki Bob’s logo

I’ve sometimes been heard to disparage certain tiki designs as being too “cartoony,” but this actually is not my complaint. Great, goofy, stylized tiki designs have been around since the start of the tiki craze, as exemplified by the logo for Tiki Bob’s in San Francisco, which I love. Of course, the appeal of stylized tikis varies greatly — there are people who can’t stand the Tiki Bob design (hi Pablus!), just as I can’t stand a lot of the stylized designs I see.

Well, here is a goofy, cartoony tiki design that I love. Four of them, in fact! New Zealand-based illustrator Onno Knuvers says he quickly put this together for his portfolio. The colors chosen and the style give it a fun mid-’60s look without feeling like an obvious, cliched attempt at something “retro.” That is probably a large part of the appeal for me. They’re instantly recognizable as tikis, but they still manage to be a fresh take on tiki design. Most of all, they’re just well done by a talented illustrator.

Knuvers’ blog is fairly new, and he doesn’t have any other tiki work on it (indeed, he seems to indicate that this was done as a bit of a lark).

November 14, 2006

Miles Thompson Loves Tikis & Tatas

Filed under: Art,People,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:57 pm
Wahahine, by Miles Thompson
Wahahine, by Miles Thompson

Miles Thompson is one of my favorite artists. His sense and use of color and shapes is reminiscent of another favorite of mine, Mary Blair. This piece is titled Wahahine, and it’s a monster at 4′ x 2′. It was part of the recent Tiki Art Now III show at Roq la Rue in Seattle, and it’s sold. In its very shrunken form here, you’re missing all kinds of Milesy goodness — click on it to see it a bit bigger. Go on, do it. I haven’t seen this one in person, but I’m sure it’s breathtaking — the color and detail on Miles’ stuff never really comes through unless you’re seeing it in person.

At first glance, Miles’ pieces can seem simple, even cartoonish (he does have a background in animation, after all), but as any animation fiend will tell you, there can be a lot buried beneath the surface. Miles’ compositions look casual, but their is a lot of intent in each one, and stories to be found in them. In one of Miles’ earlier tiki pieces, he painted a very simple nighttime skyline of Waikiki using just a few strokes of paint — and it instantly transported me to the Waikiki nights I knew as a child many, many years go.

Miles is also one of my favorite people — when I was new to Los Angeles, Miles and his friends were one of the very first groups to take me in as one of their own, which was an incredible stroke of luck for me. Not only did it open up all sorts of fascinating and wonderful things to me (like getting to meet and sit for the most astounding artists, like Michael Hussar and Kevin Llewellyn, and of course Miles himself), but his friendship was a much needed rudder for me as I figured my new life out. Whether it was over instant messenger or over drinks at Tiki-Ti (always a Chi-Chi for Miles, and on the rocks, ever since the Great Tiki-Ti Power Outage of Ought-Four), Miles has always been there for me, with an ear, a shoulder, and wise, wise words.

To see more of Miles’ work, visit his blog, or his website, or his MySpace page. At the moment, Miles has a photo atop his blog of some mysterious woman with one of his tank tops stretched across her tatas (or, as Miles insists, her “beautiful bosom”). They sure look familiar…

November 11, 2006

Ace Jackelope Goes Lewis & Clark

Filed under: Art,Portland,Seattle,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:46 pm
The Alibi in Portland, photo by Ace Jackelope
The Alibi in Portland, photo by Ace Jackelope

Ace Jackelope, a.k.a. Tikijackelope, is a kindred spirit, if ever I’ve encountered one. He travels the nation, visiting the best Americana ‘murica has to offer — especially tiki places — taking pictures all the way. His latest tiki-flavored adventure brought him to the northern wilderness of my youth, the Pacific Northwest. He’s taken some wonderful photos (pictures that handily trump the many I’ve taken) of the Alibi in Portland and the Islander in Seattle, and got a sneak peek at Portland’s Thatch. He also grabbed a few pics of the recently-closed Tiki Art Now show that was at Roq la Rue in Seattle. Special Lake Wobegon bonus: another recent post on his blog features Ace Jackelope sitting on the head of Garrison Keillor.

Vancouver, B.C.: New Tiny Tiki Lounge Group Show at Lucky Red Gallery

Filed under: Art,Events,Tiki,Vancouver, B.C. — Humuhumu @ 2:49 pm
The Gracious Host, by Heather Watts
The Gracious Host, by Heather Watts

The fourth annual New Tiny Tiki Lounge Group Show is happening at Lucky Red Gallery in Vancouver, B.C.’s Chinatown on December 9. Lucky Red is a tiny little speck of a gallery, and was formerly a one-car garage. Today it has been transformed into a tikified getaway, with bamboo and thatch — and of course art, with one-night-only shows. Artists for the show have not been announced (a call for artists went out just a couple days ago), but it’s likely that Vancouver-based tiki art superstar Heather Watts will be represented (above is her 2004 piece, The Gracious Host). For more details, visit 12midnite.com, the website of Lucky Red owner & curator, 12 Midnite. While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to check out Funhouser Decor — they’re a great local source for your home tiki bar needs (it’s where the Tiki Bar TV gang shops).

November 3, 2006

Crazy Al’s Tiki Drawer Pulls

Filed under: Art,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:00 pm
Tiki drawerpull from Crazy Al Evans
Tiki drawerpull
from Crazy Al Evans

Years ago, Accoutrements made some tiki head drawer pulls. They were crap. The design was okay, but the quality was terrible — the resin cracked when you tried to mount them. I wound up gluing them onto the drawers in my bar. Blech. They were cheap, and I got what I paid for. It’s no surprise that Accoutrements stopped making them a while ago.

Tiki drawerpull from Crazy Al Evans
Tiki drawerpull
from Crazy Al Evans

Thankfully, this hole in the market has been filled in a fantastic way by Crazy Al. He’s offering a whole range of designs, all of them traditional tiki styles, including Hawaiian, Tongan, Maori and Tahitian, and Papua New Guinean, with small and large sizes. I haven’t tried them myself, but I do have a small resin chimpanzee made by Crazy Al that I bought from him about four years ago — it’s been on my Bamboo Handbag ever since, and has seen, and lived through, much abuse. It has held up incredibly well, and still looks fantastic — I would think that Crazy Al’s door pulls would be of similar strength and quality.

November 2, 2006

North Hollywood: Tiki Magazine Party at Tonga Hut

Filed under: Art,Events,Los Angeles,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 12:56 pm
Tiki Magazine at the Tonga Hut
Tiki Magazine at the Tonga Hut

On Saturday, November 11, there will be a party for the release of Tiki Magazine’s latest issue, and an art show with seven artists. Tiki tOny, the featured artist in Tiki Magazine’s latest issue, will be there with a new mug for sale; other artists include Squid, Ken Ruzic, Kirby, Suzanne Mosher and Johnny the Pinstriper. DJ Lee Joseph will be playing tunes, and there will be drink specials.

The party starts at 7pm and goes ’til midnight. Tonga Hut is at 12808 Victory Blvd. in North Hollywood. Regular readers have heard the great news about Tonga Hut’s recent revival (the bar opened in 1958 and until just last year seemed doomed to be a dive); this is a great opportunity to check it out.

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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies

Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

Eye of the Goof
Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

Humuhumu’s Life in Photos
Pictures of my adventures

I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

Kevin Kidney
Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

Tiki links galore

Mai Tai Online
Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

Tiki Mug Collection Organizer

The Jab
Follow the way of the jab

Tiki Bar TV
Public Access meets Modern Drunkard

Tiki Central
Community forums

Tiki Magazine
Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

Tiki Talk
Hot Lava’s Tiki Blog