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Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Other Crafts » » The "Lurid" Tiki Art of Brad (Tiki Shark) Parker
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The "Lurid" Tiki Art of Brad (Tiki Shark) Parker
Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-21 11:28 pm   Permalink


"Having a great time in Hawaii, wish you were here."

Aloha Tiki Tribe...

Hey, I was re-writing my Bio.
I thought I'd run it past my hard-core Tiki-Tribe members here.

I am doing a little re-write because many tourists still ask ..ah...dumb questions like..
"What is a Tiki?" and...
"Do they... (they? Ah... Who the heck are "They"?) Do "they" still worship THEM?"

These are real questions. No kidding.

I feel sometimes like giving out WRONG info:
"Oh yeah, Tikis are still worshiped on the outer islands! Of course, it's all illegal; pot smoking, orgies, and the occasional Human sacrifice..."

Heh..

Well I learned today the gift shop, and the Kona Art Gallery keep a few choice old copies of "TIKI MAGAZINE" on hand, and pass them out to certain very thick-skulled tourists to read while they look at the art... it takes a lot of dumb questions out of the conversations afterward..

Anyways, I just learned that today!
So, the re-wrire: Here goes...what do you think?

Ah-hem...

"Appropriation is Appropriate?

I get it. I'm a Haole ( a white guy) painting Tikis.

Should I be painting Tikis?

I've been accused of "appropriating" sacred Hawaiian culture.

My response is, "What do you think Artists do?"

As an Artist, it's my job to "appropriate" culture... Hawaiian Culture, and Polynesian Culture, and Japanese Culture ( I love kabuki theater, bunraku puppets, samurai, Judo, Godzilla films, ninjas...)

Heck, I started my art career paying for collage by editing, writing, penciling, & inking "Tales of the Ninja Warriors" an indy comic book published by a California company, that was owned by Chinese people. (ALOHA Curtis Wong, where ever you are - you were my first, & still one of my favorite "editor-in-chiefs") Anyways, I also drew illustrations for their other publications like "Black Belt Magazine" and "Kung -Fu Magazine", a mag I already subscribed to - being a martial art nut and practicing various martial arts since I was 10 years old. That's when I discovered my first real-life hero: Bruce Lee. Boy, I thought working there was my dream job!

Anyways, I also appropriate American Culture, and Rock-a-Billy Culture, and Kustom Hot-Rod Culture, and European Culture, and POP-Culture, and Ancient Celtic and Druid Culture ... (oh wait, my Grand-mother was Irish, so I guess when I paint "Halloween" stuff It doesn't count? Hmmm.)

... I appropriate everything that stimulates my inner "Art Muse": the world around me - soak it in, appropriate it, but then...I sincerely hope, I give back as well... I filter it all through my psyche and make it into a new vision that is my "Art".

A cultural exchange, you might say. Your Culture, their Culture, Pop-Culture, everyone's culture goes in ...and my Art comes out.

I hope my Art is interesting, entertaining, or at least something that is worthy of comment, or just nice to look at.

I NEVER tell anyone I am creating "REAL HAWAIIAN ART".

I'm not.

I couldn't.

I wouldn't want to even try.

It's been done, and done extremely well by Herb Kane. - Herbert Kawainui Kane (1928 to 2011) He's was, and still is, the very BEST! Really, go look him up on the net. Look at his beautiful historically correct Hawaiian cultural paintings... they are awesome, they are inspiring... but I could Never be that good.

So I don't even try.

I make Art about "Tiki" Culture.

"Tiki Culture" is to "Hawaiian Culture" what "Captain America" comic books are to the real history of WWII.

Nothing wrong with "Captain America" comic books, I loved reading them as a kid. Still do sometimes. But, it's not the real history of WWII. Go read a History book for that. That's good too.

I hope that clears up what makes some people feel uncomfortable, or confused, about my art.

Funny thing is, I have yet to meet an actual person of Hawaiian Heritage that is confused or offended by my art. So far, they all have thought it was fun and amusing, like the "Enchanted Tiki Room" at Disney Land.

A lot of "them" bought prints of my art, and I'm happy, and proud, to know I hang in many real Hawaiian people's homes.

...Of course, not to be cultural-sentric, I am just as happy & proud to hang in "haole" home-made Tiki-Bars in other places like Canada and France, or even now the Middle East. I think it's pretty exciting to consider that the culture that sprouted up on the most remote land mass in the world has reached out and touched almost every other part of the globe; with Surfing, Hula, the sense of "Aloha" ...or even "Tiki-Culture", what-ever that is.

NOW... this brings me to one of the scariest moments in my art career. I was asked by the University of Hawaii to give a talk on "Tiki-Culture"... to a group of university students, many of them were from Hawaiian families, who have lived on the islands for many many generations. So, me..the haole guy, got up and lectured a bunch of Hawaiian students on "Tiki-Culture". Pretty crazy world, huh?

Well, it all turned out great. My fears were all for naught. No one stood up and pointed at me and laughed. The students were very interested, and pleased with what I said, and the art I showed them. Afterward, I got a standing ovation. The University has asked me to be on the list of their favorite speakers. (Whew!) It was an extremely rewarding experience all around, but it really made me think about what I do, and why I am making the Art I make.

Ans since we are on the subject of appropriation:


Aloha!


[ This Message was edited by: tiki shark art 2014-04-24 01:27 ]


 
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Kai Koa
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 11, 2012
Posts: 67
From: Kailua Kona
Posted: 2014-03-22 09:05 am   Permalink

Well said Brad, I think you summed it up perfectly! You'll have to get me in to one of those Tiki worship parties on the outer islands, sounds like fun!

 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-22 4:25 pm   Permalink

Kai Koa - thanx!... hehehe.. I will let you know as soon as I get invited to one of those great Tiki Worshiping parties!
_________________
Brad (Tiki Shark) Parker
"You have not appropriated the Culture of Hawaii…the Culture of Hawaii has appropriated you."
K. Angel Pilago (Hawaiian Elder & my own personal Yoda)


 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-22 11:02 pm   Permalink

Aloha from Hawaii Tiki Tribe!



 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-25 01:52 am   Permalink

Aloha Tiki Tribe!

Working on the SEA WITCH... slapping goo on to a springy cloth surface, with a small brush, ...This is ridiculous! Who thought up this process for creating a 3-D illusion on a 2-d surface anyways?!

Laying in color, that should help separate the chaos that is my composition.

Cool to warm to cool to warm as Tim Hidebrandt would suggest in his art book.

Speaking of warm and cool tones, here's tonight's sunset from the Kona coast.

More to come...


 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6882
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2014-03-25 10:01 am   Permalink

Hey. There are no rules in art. You can do warm to cool instead of cool to warm. Or, you can do All cool or All warm. Don't forget about small thumbnail paintings to work things out. Or just do it big and let it evolve and see where it goes. Now chop-chop shark boy!!

 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-26 8:23 pm   Permalink

Art Rule #1.) .There are no rules!
Art Rule #2.) Don't talk about Fight-Club... er ...no wait, There are no rules!

I like it!
Thanx GROG!


 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-26 8:26 pm   Permalink

Aloha Tiki Tribe!
So I was invited to the Kona Business Expo and Governor's Luncheon. Got to meet the Governor of Hawaii, Neil Abmercrombie. He was pretty happy to get an autographed Tiki Art Calendar.

ALOHA!
_________________
Brad (Tiki Shark) Parker
"You have not appropriated the Culture of Hawaii…the Culture of Hawaii has appropriated you."
K. Angel Pilago (Hawaiian Elder & my own personal Yoda)


 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-26 10:08 pm   Permalink

Aloha Tiki Tribe!
Tonight's Sunset....



 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-28 01:28 am   Permalink

Aloha Tiki Tribe...

Working on Sea Witch...

Hmmm....tougher than I thought it'd be working through some bits.
The eel is starting to look better, the shark is taking a long time to become what I am thinking he should be looking like though...
I might needs ta stop and do some more sketches...



 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-28 02:49 am   Permalink

Aloha Tiki Tribe...
I've been thinking about Tiki Art... and appropriation...again. (I know, sorry.)

Okay. You know why some folks get confused & upset by me painting "Tiki-Culture Low-Brow" Art? It's politics. Yep. There was a political over throw of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and people get that confused with the breaking of the "Kapu" religion by Queen Ka'ahumanu in 1819. If I painted Perseus fighting Medusa, no one would say, "Hey… I why are you (a non-Greek) painting that? No one would wonder if I was secretly worshiping Zeus in my basement. Or question if I was pushing Paganism on people trying to disrupt their proper Christian beliefs.

But, in Hawaii, there is a strange guilt still lingering in people's minds. They don't want to talk about the history here, even though it is really exciting stuff, with rich cultural mythology as wonderful as Greek mythology. But, we "don't want to scare the tourists" is the rule in the art galleries here. So, "Happy Dolphins" is the major art form in Hawaii.

I have this great "Low-Brow Hawaiiana" Idea for a Big painting - a real Low-Brow Tiki-Art Masterpiece: Madame Pele the Volcano Goddess, riding a Tiger Shark, With some Tiki (this is a giant shark) She's in a sea-battle with a "Skeleton-Pirate-Nosferatu" version of Captain Cook (his ghost ship infested with plague-rats like the Demeter in "Dracula") off the coast of the Big Island (Kilauea erupting in the back ground) … a big dramatic canvas, like 5 feet wide, 3 feet tall! Man, that in the front window of the Kona Gallery would stop tourists in their tracks - what a hoot!

But… it' might scare 'em off, not get 'em to come in-side and buy art. Or, so the gallery thinks. SO…. I have to get to a place where I really do not care about what "sells to tourists" to paint real Low-Brow Art about Tiki-Culture. I have to be ready to be tossed out of the one gallery that will show my work now. I gotta' make a living, so I'm still not there yet. Maybe one day, If I keep inching toward more and more true Low-Brow art (that my inner art-muse is telling me to paint) maybe … my audience will come along as well, if I'm good enough. I don't think I'm good enough yet.

Now, all this don't mean I dislike Captain Cook. No, I really think he was a real life historical hero - explored more of the globe than anyone before him. Quite amazing guy who hd an amazing life, read up on him!

Nor do I dis like Christians,. My art agent is the only Muslim who is a graduate of BIOLA (the Bible Institute of Los Angeles), and I've had folks from BIOLA come to my low-Brow art shows at galleries like La Luz De Jesus, and we had a great time. As a matter of fact, they were more wild and fun than a lot of the hipster art crowd.

I don't want to make light of Hawaiian culture either. I love Hawaiian culture, history, and mythology - it's all really great stuff. It's sad kids don't get to read about the demi-god Maui as much as they get to read about the demi-god Perseus fighting Medusa. I loved learning Greek mythology as a kid, spending the week end at the library reading books... not any on Hawaiian mythology though. There are hardly any. There's this one book, a big ponderous book, that is written so darned dryly it's hard to get through. No kid would ever pick it up. Sucks all the adventure and excitement out of some amazing myths.

So, really I got no political/religious agenda. Well maybe I do.... I just have an urge to paint something that will have some real meaning… maybe make people think …more than "a happy dolphin painting".

I just gotta' become a better painter...


 
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Kai Koa
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 11, 2012
Posts: 67
From: Kailua Kona
Posted: 2014-03-28 10:08 am   Permalink

Your idea sounds great Brad. I don't see why any images that have to do with Hawaiian lore would not be well received. It's not like you're doing anything outrageous like nudity which in my opinion is not a bad thing but I can see where you have to be a little tame when showing in a gallery such as Wylands and to tourist. I think the huge painting would be amazing! Im currently reading "The Legends and Myths of Hawaii" originally by his Hawaiian Majesty Kalakaua, Im not much into book reading but this is some great stuff on early Hawaiian history and Im not even half way thru it yet. Soon you will be ready to make your idea a reality on the canvas, I look forward to seeing it. A hui hou!

 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-31 2:22 pm   Permalink

thanks man. One day, when I learn how to paint...


 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-31 2:29 pm   Permalink

aloha tiki tribe!

See Witch...

See Brad paint Sea Witch.

See some color creep onto canvas.

I think it was accident... color sloped onto it ...

See the humuhumunukunukuapua'a.
More laters!
_________________
Brad (Tiki Shark) Parker
"You have not appropriated the Culture of Hawaii…the Culture of Hawaii has appropriated you."
K. Angel Pilago (Hawaiian Elder & my own personal Yoda)


 
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Tiki Shark Art
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 3505
From: The volcanic Big Island of Hawaii
Posted: 2014-03-31 9:27 pm   Permalink

Dig it!



 
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