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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Sven Kirsten's book: Tiki Pop
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Sven Kirsten's book: Tiki Pop
Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1268
From: Calgary
Posted: 2014-08-23 7:11 pm   Permalink

We're gonna need a bigger book-shelf


Not a sincere complaint. I think the book is great as it is. Mazel Tov Sven!
_________________


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11242
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-08-23 7:56 pm   Permalink

Thanks everybody! This is very nicely showing that I achieved my goal:

Quote:

On 2014-08-22 12:56, Pitcairn wrote:
I love this book! It's grand and glorious and compliments The Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern with yet more layers and depth forging a bigger picture in my mind. Heartfelt thanks!



 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11242
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-08-31 02:10 am   Permalink

Now that enough time has passed for all the Tikiphiles to get their copy, I want to open the discussion for the book:

To encourage that, I am shedding some light onto some of the book/exhibit catalog's concepts:

1.) THE TITLE "Tiki POP" !!? (from my recent Tiki Oasis lecture):

Those who have followed my musings and ramblings about the revival of Tiki Style might have heard me utter these words: “I am glad that my goal of making Tiki re-enter pop culture has been achieved, but it has become too much POP, and not enough CULTURE !”

So WHY the title TIKI POP, now that I had taken the next hurdle and positioned American Tiki ephemera in a true temple of high culture, the Musee du Quai Branly in the middle of Paris?

The title Tiki Pop was requested by Stephane Martin, the director of the Quai Branly museum. The Quai Branly is a state sponsored museum, the most modern ethnographic museum in Europe. It is a serious institution, with an amazing Oceanic art collection. To clearly separate my American mid-century Tiki items from the authentic artifacts in the museum, the exhibition title "Tiki Pop" was chosen.

2.) The HOLLYWOOD concept:

To further clarify the fact that American Tiki style was more a fantasy than an authentic re-creation of Polynesian culture, I came up with the approach of describing a Tiki lounge as being like a film set, and its accoutrements like props. The French are great lovers of classic Hollywood films, and once the term "Hollywood" would be established, it would be clear that we were dealing with an imagined, heightened image world.

It just so happened that, as I went deeper with my research into film sets, special effects and the movies that inspired them, and added the Hollywood celebrity culture factor of Don's, the Tropics and the Luau, it all made perfect sense

The interesting thing is that, as the Tiki became the icon of the style in the late 50s/ early 60s, classic Hollywood film-making was in decline, and the elaborate constructs in Tiki temples like the Mai Kai, the Kahiki and the Kona Kai actually surpassed the cheap sets in feature films! I did not have the space to get into that in the book - one of my regrets due to the necessary dual language requirement.

I also regret some editorial oversights due to the deadline crunch towards the opening of the exhibit…

So: What are your thoughts?





 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4964
Posted: 2014-08-31 9:51 pm   Permalink

Thank you. I'll print this and keep it with the book. Wendy

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11242
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-09-02 02:54 am   Permalink

Thank You, Wendy.

Nobody else wants to discuss anything about the book?

Here's a bit more behind-the-scenes info:

As the deadline for the book drew nearer, I was still without a cover image - and without a poster image for the museum. The problem was that all the images that I deemed iconic enough (and that had not been used before) were in B&W. Now that was less of an obstacle for the Musee Quai Branly, they had done some fine posters with black & white photos:





But I knew that TASCHEN was not gonna go for a B&W book cover, deeming it not commercial enough. And of course, ideally the book cover and the exhibit poster would be the same.

I tried the ethnographic approach:

A museum poster:



My attempt to show how Tiki Pop was inspired by original Tiki artifacts:



Naah. Too specialist. Even if we would have added a hula babe to spice it up:



I really wanted THIS photo to be the cover:



So my friend Moritz and I played around with colorizing it:

The Andy Warhol look:



A softer version:



The problem was that colorization separated the people from the environment, and made it look like photo shop, compromising the all-important impression of authenticity of this image - so NO GO.

In the meantime, the museum's graphic department was breathing down my neck with proposals like this:



Not bad, but somewhat predictable. Also, they did not know that some of the sources they had used from my materials to make this collage came from postcards, which would not hold up being blown up to poster size -- Hi Res being another requirement for a cover/ poster image. Most of all, this image was lacking a Tiki!

It was only two weeks before the cover image had to be locked, and I was getting desperate. I was asking everybody for suggestions, and this is when two old friends came through:

Ron Ferrell informed me that nowadays there were ways of colorizing B&W images so they did not have this retro hand-tinted look (which I wanted to avoid) but looked like real color photographs, and sent me this link:

http://indulgd.com/realistically-colorized-historical-photos/

And then BOSKO came to the rescue by reminding me of THIS series of photographs from a Florida archive, which I had always loved:





This image had everything that was needed: A stylized modern Tiki, a swimsuit babe, and it exuded that happy naivite that constitutes Tiki style:



Plus the girl was gonna help me get it approved by Taschen. So I went to work with the museum's art department, and I think we succeeded with creating an image that, as its first impression at least, seems like an authentic period color photo:



Taschen accepted it as the book cover, and everybody was happy, and the damn image was plastered all over Paris! :







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Kon-Hemsby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1286
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2014-09-02 06:15 am   Permalink

Hi, was the Tri-City Suncoast Fiesta board added in later, as I can't see it in the original photo?

 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 999
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2014-09-02 06:33 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-09-02 02:54, bigbrotiki wrote:
Nobody else wants to discuss anything about the book?



Sven, yessir, I think we do want to discuss the book. (I definitely do.) It will take me (and others here) a lot more time to delve deeper into the pages and the text of your book and then to come up with intelligent and well-reasoned questions. You have demonstrated in this thread to what extent you have researched and thought deeply about the subject matter. And I must say WOW -- not only about the content of your book, but also how rare it is that an author gets to comment so openly and in such detail, in a public forum, on their work after publication. Wendy is right - several of your posts need to be printed out and placed in the front of your book. You are continuing to shed additional light on the book, its contents, and the results of your research. And it is also being recorded here in the Tiki Central repository for the future discovery by many others. (Or until the power runs out, heh.) I applaud you for that, and I am looking forward to spending more time with the book, page-by-page, and cover-to-cover.

The last 12 months have been great for a lot of us tikiphiles, cocktail aficionados, and urban archaeologists. We have seen Potions of the Carribbean, then Tiki Pop, and also the Pacific Ocean Park book. These fine books are a lot of material to process thanks to you and a handful of other researchers and authors.

We are also very fortunate that there is such interest, globally, to allow these materials to be exhibited and published. Cheers to you, sir!


 
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MaukaHale
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2012
Posts: 388
From: The base of the Volcano
Posted: 2014-09-02 08:42 am   Permalink

Sven,

I haven't finished reading all the text but I have gone through most of the book. The initial opinion of this book is that it is a nice coffee table book but after reading it, the reader understands there is a story. I think you originally said that the book supports the exhibit. The reader is shown how the interest in the south seas developed through through early explorers, books and cinema. So far I found chapter 12 most interesting - Francis Langford: The Bamboo Blonde. I purchased the movie to see why the interest in her. There really isn't much tiki or south seas in the movie but it shows how bringing the tropics to a supper club was very popular. I may look more into her life. You did touch a little on her life.

Overall this is an amazing book with a tremendous amount of research. I don't think anyone else could have created a book that explains the tiki pop culture of the 20th century as well as you have. Having lived through the 50's and 60's I was able to experience tiki culture as a child. I wasn't able to go to bars but I had my parents take me to the restaurants. With Hawaii becoming a state everyone was interested in "Paradise." I like that you put in a chapter on "Natural Materials of the Tropics. You also have a chapter on "Tiki at Home." To me I think the chapter on "Tiki at Home" could have used more. You were able to put in furniture, tiki torches and LP records but there really is a lot more. At age 13/14 I went to the store in Pasadena that sold the materials you talk about in chapter 8. I had my own room in the basement that I decorated. I even made a bar in wood shop in middle school. It had black walnut for the top with bamboo and lauhala matting. Through my parents I saw homes that were well decorated in the south seas mode. There was a demand for home decorations. I had an uncle that had a business that made tikis and masks out of Styrofoam.

I know you had limited space but if there was more that could be added I would have liked to see more of the homes that lived the tiki experience.

TC disclaimer: Before everyone comes down on me for criticizing I only did it for the purpose of discussion. I'm
very happy to have this book in my library as well as gaining the knowledge that is in this book.

_________________

"People are like islands. You have to get close to them to know what they are about."
~ Adam Troy


 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6915
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2014-09-02 10:25 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-09-02 02:54, bigbrotiki wrote:


This image had everything that was needed: A stylized modern Tiki, a swimsuit babe, and it exuded that happy naivite that constitutes Tiki style:



Plus the girl was gonna help me get it approved by Taschen. So I went to work with the museum's art department, and I think we succeeded with creating an image that, as its first impression at least, seems like an authentic period color photo:



The lovely lady posing with the Tiki was Tri-City Suncoast Festival queen Rita Mathies seen here on the far left in these photos.






 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11242
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-09-02 10:30 am   Permalink

Nice photos, Ernie!

On 2014-09-02 06:15, Kon-Hemsby wrote:
>>Hi, was the Tri-City Suncoast Fiesta board added in later, as I can't see it in the original photo?

Too fast on the scrolling finger there, Kon Hemsby, you went right by version 2 of the photo
That's the one I picked - it accommodated the title better.



On 2014-09-02 08:42, MaukaHale wrote:
>>….I had my own room in the basement that I decorated. I even made a bar in wood shop in middle school. It had black walnut for the top with bamboo and lauhala matting.

Wow, not bad for a young lad!


>>Through my parents I saw homes that were well decorated in the south seas mode. There was a demand for home decorations.

I can only imagine how many tropical basement bars must have existed in Southern California and the rest of the US. That tradition spanned several decades. It tears my heart out each time I hear about another one being torn out for renovations.


>>I had an uncle that had a business that made tikis and masks out of Styrofoam.

Any family photos left of that?


>>I know you had limited space but if there was more that could be added I would have liked to see more of the homes that lived the tiki experience.

That stuff is really hard to come by. Someone should make a book on all the Tiki Revival home bars. That book could have a whole chapter on the original home bars, and one on the original supply places. Of course there is the chapter "Travel to Exotic Places - In your own Basement" in Tiki Modern



>>TC disclaimer: Before everyone comes down on me for criticizing I only did it for the purpose of discussion. I'm
very happy to have this book in my library as well as gaining the knowledge that is in this book.

No one should, this is exactly what I had asked for, some honest and constructive criticism! - Mahalo, Sven


[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2014-09-02 10:42 ]


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6247
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2014-09-02 10:47 am   Permalink

My pre-order at a mom & pop book site went to "Shipping Soon" then "Backordered", then "Canceled"
so two months later I now have to order it somewhere else,
I wish I just picked one up the last time I saw you, Sven!


 
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MaukaHale
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2012
Posts: 388
From: The base of the Volcano
Posted: 2014-09-02 11:16 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-09-02 10:30, bigbrotiki wrote:
Of course there is the chapter "Travel to Exotic Places - In your own Basement" in Tiki Modern




Yes I read that chapter but it was about Witco products.



_________________

"People are like islands. You have to get close to them to know what they are about."
~ Adam Troy


 
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Kon-Hemsby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1286
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2014-09-02 2:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-09-02 10:30, bigbrotiki wrote:
Nice photos, Ernie!

On 2014-09-02 06:15, Kon-Hemsby wrote:
>>Hi, was the Tri-City Suncoast Fiesta board added in later, as I can't see it in the original photo?

Too fast on the scrolling finger there, Kon Hemsby, you went right by version 2 of the photo
That's the one I picked - it accommodated the title better.




I saw that. I guess the placard was added in after photo no.1

_________________


[ This Message was edited by: Kon-Hemsby 2014-09-03 02:18 ]


 
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naugatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 837
From: Port Angeles, Wa
Posted: 2014-09-02 3:54 pm   Permalink

I’m surprised Taschen would be such a stickler on the cover and wouldn't give you the freedom to go with the classic black and white tiki entrance photo, you figure with your reputation and two sold out books for them they would have let you put your name on a book with Tiki Barber on the cover if you desired.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11242
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-09-02 4:33 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-09-02 14:38, Kon-Hemsby wrote:

I saw that. I guess the placard was added in after photo no.1




I like it. it made it more real, and more American.



Ha!, Nauga: Taschen is hardcore commercial when it comes to covers, and this book was a favor to me and the arts


 
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