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VanTiki Mugs: Octopus Time Lapse
KokoKele
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2012
Posts: 70
Posted: 2012-02-08 2:19 pm   Permalink

Seeing BigBroTiki's critique actually caused me to quit lurking and to actually sign up and post a reply!

It looks tiki to me. Here's why:

VanTiki is great at using wood grain effects to make his clay pieces look as though they were carved from a gnarly old log. To me wood grain is a very tiki element, as opposed to the examples of fantasy art supplied by BigBroTiki that look like they are made of metal and resin, respectively.

The piece has a drum theme. I associate drums with with island life, because they are used both for communication and festivities. I also see them in a lot of tiki bars.

The piece has an oceanic theme. What surrounds exotic tropical islands? The ocean! Imagine that an inhabitant of some exotic island spotted a creature walking out of the sea. He might think of it as a god of some sort and would want to carve a tiki of it. In the process he decided it should also be a drum. That's a clever islander! I really like the way this piece makes a Creature of the Black Lagoon gill statement while still looking like wood. Neat!

It has a nice grimace. I associate a grimacing visage with tikis, much more so than I associate those big dumb grins with giant teeth that all the woodcarvers seem to love so much.

It has a tiki-like nose and tiki-like eyes, highly stylized. It also has "carved" shapes that easily might have orginated somewhere in the South Pacific.

It looks like something an explorer or shipwrecked sailor might find on an infrequently visited island. Who were the people who carved it? What did they see that inspired the carving?

So I think this piece is not only tiki, but it's also really cool!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-08 2:41 pm   Permalink

That's so sweet!

 
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KokoKele
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2012
Posts: 70
Posted: 2012-02-08 6:35 pm   Permalink

Sweetiki!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-08 8:58 pm   Permalink

I really don't know why on earth I have such a hard time accepting cultural ignorance in this day and age, all the while I find this form of carefree naivety charming and funny in mid-century American Tiki. Am I a hypocrite? Or am I the one who is naive, by harboring that sliver of hope that our consciousness has evolved in the last 50 years?

 
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hewey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4278
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2012-02-09 12:21 am   Permalink

Bigbro, I see a few different things that seperates Vantikis latest creation from those ones you posted. Firstly those two pieces you posted firmly have their heritage in medievil times - the basic use of steel for weaponry and armour, the decoration and embelishment. Sure both are certainly 'medievil pop', but they belong to the same family.

Now Vantikis latest mug has no steel element to it at all. The legs to me reek of centuries old wharf timbers. The folds at the side could be equally at home on an exotic tropical fish, but I also see elements of a bannana leaf in there too. The dimpled effect could be either stone (moai influence) or it could the scales of a fish. The overall look has elements of the creature of the black lagoon, but with an inherent primitivism to it. For me its not hard to imagine a piece of pacific art with a similar look using natural materials, based on the locals sightings of the creature in the black lagoon. So it'd have a timber base and then mud daubed on to reflect the creatures wet skin, and leaves to represent the gills.

This is a overmodeled skull from the sepik river, where they covered the original skull in clay

And the use of triangles is commonly seen in oceanic art too





I also think you're seeing more of an influence of 'kustom kulture' art in recent years too, and with that poly pop is taking on a new identity.
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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 670
From: Oregon
Posted: 2012-02-09 12:44 am   Permalink

I don't know I see it as an evolution of form, but needs its own name, not necessarily JUST tiki I agree there that would be mislabeling. I see the progression as:
1)Polynesian pop
2)Tiki
3)Tiki modern
4)Some new wavish version of tiki that still has some vestiges of influence, but the percentage leans more towards punk,car,rockabilly,cartoon culture with some Salvidor Dali surrealism thrown in. There is still just a bit of tiki there, but to call it tiki alone would be erroneous. It needs its own name designation that incorporates tiki, but places the emphasis on the larger influences, just as tiki modern is a separation from purely tiki.

All art evolves over time and incorporates new influences along with the old, just because it has a different percentage of influence does not mean it does not belong somewhere in the lineage of the original, but it should have its own specific name that classifies it as its own movement while letting us know where it's roots come from.

And of course the above is a over simplification of progression, there were other different offshoots of the basic evolution such as California surfer style. So while much of this new art is not tiki, I would argue that it is of tiki lineage. Just because it is new art though it does not necessarily follow that it should be classified under this new version of tiki. New art can be made that falls under the more purebred labels of 1,2 or 3, (with 1 of course also not really being tiki but of tiki lineage) it just depends on how closely the art follows one particular influence and the intrinsic guidelines that make it such.


 
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Professor G
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 03, 2011
Posts: 334
From: the Tiki Wastelands
Posted: 2012-02-09 06:04 am   Permalink

Would it be inaccurate to point out that any rules about Polynesian authenticity in mugs have been, historically, somewhat laxly enforced?





On an aesthetic level, I don't care to collect these mugs and the Van Tiki mug being discussed is one of his least Poly/pop influenced. Functionally, however, the purpose of a Tiki mug is to be part of the illusion that you are having dinner in a place that never existed. I agree that there should be air-conditioned jungles with no bugs where food is brought to you by a sarong-clad bevy of well-nourished blondes, brunettes and redheads, but I've traveled a bit and not found such a place yet. On a cultural sensitivity level, the drum mug isn't going to offend anyone because it doesn't look like anyone's deity, ancestor, or spirit guide (I guess the nose-guard might bug the descendents of old-school northern European warriors).

There has always been a pretty heavy "because-I-say-so" factor in the Tiki aesthetic, which makes this kind of discussion really interesting.

*The examples are lifted straight from Ooga-Mooga: if that was naughty of me, I'll ditch them.



 
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Heath
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2012-02-09 07:24 am   Permalink

Well Henrik, all debate aside, I like it.
The amount of work that has gone into this is amazing.
The glaze should be interesting.
I'm hoping you can get a recording of it when it's all finished, if you're able to find something to lash on as a head that is.
If not, make a recording anyway.
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-09 08:19 am   Permalink

Professor G, I have made the point many times that the fact that these mugs you pictured are called "Tiki Mugs" on e-bay still does not make them that: They are mugs used in Tiki bars, yes, but they do not depict a Tiki, so why should they be called that? They are a Fu Manchu mug, and a Pirate mug, it's very simple.

I appreciate all the thoughtful posts above. If their thinking is flawed, is for everyone to decide, just as it is apparent that if you WANT to see Tiki in something, you will find it. Hot Rodders, Rockabillies, monster makers - everybody gets to have THEIR Tiki.





 
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VanTiki
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 1019
From: Hawaii
Posted: 2012-02-09 12:11 pm   Permalink

Oh dear! I step away from the studio for a spell and look what happens!

First off, I appreciate BigBrotiki's thoughts. He has brought them up before about my mugs and work (look here:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=28635&forum=12&start=0 and then he created a great thread here: http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=28671&forum=1&start=0 ). I'm going to make a statement about people's comments, then if we could move the discussion of "what is tiki" over to the afore mentioned thread and keep this one focused on the craft/techniques of creating that would be great

I understand that my mugs are different - that is, in fact, why I make them. I greatly enjoy developing entirely new cultures and deities when creating my mugs and work. Yes, I do pull stylistic details from established polynesian motifs - but I try to do it as little as possible, or in a subtle way that may not be seen. I like to explore new angles. For example: I love shrunken heads (who doesn't?) - and there are already many great works and mugs using shrunken head. I opted to do pickled heads ( http://www.vantiki.com/VanTiki/The_Pickled_Warrior.html ) and framed faces ( http://www.vantiki.com/VanTiki/Framed_Face_1.html ). I WANT to push the expectations/mental image that people have when they think of a tiki mug. Heck, this afternoon I'm making new wood bases for my ship's cannon tiki mugs!

In closing, It is odd to me that the drum mug is the piece that evoked another comment on my work being "not tiki", as I pulled the design for it directly from Hawaiian Pahu drums. Yes, it has a gillman-esque face on it (which I love), but the body shape and sounding holes follow traditional designs. Once I lash it up, it will look even more so. The second drum mug will follow the Pahu design even more so - but will be a bit crazier as well

That is my 2 coconuts on the topic. I make mugs and curiosities that I dreamed of finding in the jungle when I was a kid. Objects that transport those who hold them to a Pacific land of mystery and exploration. Now back to the topic of creating tiki!

Mahalo,
Henrik "VanTiki"
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SandraDee
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 11, 2011
Posts: 929
Posted: 2012-02-09 12:57 pm   Permalink

I have always found it humorous that people comment on an artist's thread about their work being "un-tiki" . Must be why some amazing artists on here no longer post to their gallery threads and instead are happy to post on Facebook where people don't walk around with a swizzle stick stuck up their arse.

Henrik your work is awesome as always.

Now if only I could outbid one of my hardcore TIKI collecting friends on this piece when you eventually put it up on Ebay maybe I would feel better about having your un-tiki art in my collection.

In fact maybe I should TELL my hardcore tiki collecting friends that your work...although amazing..is just not tiki enough for their collections I could sway them into giving me some of your mugs. I really want a few of those trepanning skulls in my collection.





[ This Message was edited by: SandraDee 2012-02-09 13:04 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-09 1:40 pm   Permalink

Rock on, Sandra, AWRIGHT! And say high to your "roommate".

I in turn always found it humorous that some people here have no artistic contribution to make to the community other than foul language.


 
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KokoKele
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2012
Posts: 70
Posted: 2012-02-09 4:04 pm   Permalink

And I find it humorous that anyone can use the term "cultural ignorance" in association with a vessel designed to serve exotic cocktails in theme restaurants. Dude, they're mugs! The reverence is pretty much negated as soon as they come out of the kiln. Now, if someone turned Michelangelo's Pieta into a scorpion bowl, we might be able to start talking cultural ignorance.

 
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 847
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2012-02-09 4:23 pm   Permalink

I've seen more than enough Ku's and Marquesan mugs, it's nice to see something different. We are not living in the 1950's anymore.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11126
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-09 4:24 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-02-09 16:04, KokoKele wrote:
And I find it humorous that anyone can use the term "cultural ignorance" in association with a vessel designed to serve exotic cocktails in theme restaurants. Dude, they're mugs! The reverence is pretty much negated as soon as they come out of the kiln. Now, if someone turned Michelangelo's Pieta into a scorpion bowl, we might be able to start talking cultural ignorance.



Hm, perhaps I was referring more to such cheerful statements as "... In the process he decided it should also be a drum. That's a clever islander!..."

And (much to your surprise perhaps) Tiki Culture IS indeed viewed as a "culture" here. Some dude wrote some books to back that up. And wrote over 9500 posts about it. There is much there to be ignorant about: Original Polynesian culture, mid-century American Tiki culture, and contemporary Tiki Revival culture.

At this point I have to really apologize to Henrik for letting myself getting drawn into this, I will cease to post here and let the kids have their ball.

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2012-02-09 16:26 ]


 
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