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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki The Gallery of Regrettable Tiki Paint Jobs
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The Gallery of Regrettable Tiki Paint Jobs
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11104
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-17 8:44 pm   Permalink

As the promotion of "good taste in Tiki" (not as much of an oxymoron as some people might think) is my constant aim, I wanted to open a thread that makes my point of WHY it is a bad idea to paint Tikis in garish colors very clear, in the simplest manner: By showing examples that speak for themselves.

I have pointed out on several occasions that I judge it as a sign of Tiki devolution to paint Tikis garishly, and I will repeat myself here, as this thread is meant to supersede all previous ones, so it can be referred to whenever the question of "Why is bold paint bad?" arises here.

Historical causes for slapping paint on Tikis:
As the Tiki Fever of the 1950s and 60s was subsiding in the 1970s, Tiki restaurant proprietors sought for ways to "keep up with the times", and as one measure decided that the "dark, primitive" look of their god heads was a "downer", and that they should be reborn in "happy, gay fiesta" colors. .....Wrong. This made things only worse.

Practical and psychological causes for slapping paint on Tikis:
As the Tikis grew older, they were in need for maintenance. The temptation to (instead of just using an appropriate dark varnish) become a little "creative" with paint, spoke to the child in every man. And every child knows that the lips and the tongue are red, and teeth are white, and that the rest is to be filled in like a fantasy coloring book!

Noted Polynesian scholar Terrence Barrow, Ph.D., speaks on the mistake of painting Tikis with wrong colors:
"Harsh color detracts so much from the sculptural quality of the carving that a sensitive eye is offended."

As our first example I choose a classic icon of Polynesian pop, the famous Mr. Bali Hai:



Green in the face is a bad decision for a restaurant logo, and this abomination was so glaringly offensive that it moved two renowned Tiki artists to volunteer their time and expertise to restore the beloved godhead to its original color scheme. Phew!

Another Tiki icon, the incomparable Tiki Bob, also fell victim to the "creativity urge":



Although not as offensive in its color palette, stylistically it was just AS wrong. Luckily, this aesthetic misstep has been corrected by some merciful soul since.
The fate of other, lesser known idols is uncertain, like this Milan Guanko at the Kon Tiki in Tuscon:


I would look unhappy too with such a paint job.

Some folks thought that RED and PINK would add that needed touch to these miniature golf guardians:




The painter of this fine Milan Guanko Tiki at the Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach obviously had only three paints available, who knows what the rest of the carving would have looked like if not:



Musing about that is a moot point now anyway, since the whole Tiki has long disappeared since.

When all is needed is a simple one tone coat, why would one make such an effort to reach such an unproductive result:



These Tiki posts at the Hanalei Hotel atrium had been brown for over 20 years...for a good reason.


This Tiki's expression appears frozen in permanent shock over having been painted "Black Face" style:



Its physical downfall probably followed swiftly after its aesthetic demise (at the Kona Kai Mobile Home Park, Los Angeles).


Eli Hedley probably never imagined his Islander Apartments pool hut post being painted in white and green:



And though part of a spectacular recent urban archaeological find, this Tiki is an example that day-glow colors and primitive art do not mix:



And just in case there is any doubt about this issue left among the "Tiki should have no rules" crowd, I say take THAT:



A striking example of the misbegotten Injun War Paint/ Coloring Book free style paint job if I ever saw one.

NOTE": This thread shall be reserved for examples of classic mid-century Tikis having been painted over, and is NOT intended for the following:
A.) Garish Party City paper Tiki and other discount store Tiki art. Bad or good, it is what it is. We cannot change it, and we can bitch about it in other threads.
B.) Contemporary artists' examples, be it graphic or sculptural.
It is my hope that the wrongness of the Tiki crimes of the past will inform the artists of today to become better acquainted with a sensible use of colors in their efforts to continue the great tradition of American Tiki culture.

Any stupid joke and obvious "exceptions to the rule" examples will be ignored. Genuine questions about borderline cases and other uncertainties will be addressed in time. Thank you very much.



 
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TikiPhil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 149
From: Riverside, CA
Posted: 2008-04-17 9:11 pm   Permalink

Trader vics - International Marketplace - Hawaii



But I do like the colors on the one in the middle


[ This Message was edited by: TikiPhil 2008-04-17 21:13 ]


 
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Polynesiac
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2008-04-17 9:29 pm   Permalink

My favorite is the Moai fisherman from the former Aku Aku in Cambridge (posted originally by tikisgrl)




The newer creative take on the beautiful Richard Ellis tikis from Sam's Seafood:



most of the tikis in the bar area look like this. I'll just post this one image, but there could be MANY more posted (sorry, I forget who originally posted this and took the picture. Feel free to PM me if you want the credit)

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[ This Message was edited by: Polynesiac 2008-04-17 21:32 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Polynesiac 2008-04-17 21:34 ]


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Kaiwaza
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 06, 2003
Posts: 460
From: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Posted: 2008-04-18 12:18 am   Permalink

While I agree pretty much in principle here, I have to say I do LOVE the day-glo painted tiki. I just recently picked up a $2.99 Bali souvenir at my local Goodwill, some type of sand or some rough material in a long bar, with a 3-D Balinese scene painted in bright day-glo colors, matted on a straw mat & framed. Somehow those colors work on that as well.
I think maybe it has to do with MY OWN childhood memories in the late 70s when we would vacation at Myrtle Beach and all the souvenirs, beach towels, etc would be in those day-glo colors. I got a Hawaiian shirt recently which most people hate, that I just LOVE...I think it was a uniform short for the Mauna Kea Beach resort in celebration of a volcanic eruption...scenes of the hotel, volcano, explosion, etc all in bright day-glo. Takes me back....
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11104
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-18 07:39 am   Permalink

Dayglo does have a small place in Tiki history, yes, but it still does not mean that it ever was a desirable facet of Tiki style. I respect your childhood memories, but bright colors do not belong on Tikis, then and now.
And as I said, Aloha shirt culture is a whole different matter which is not part of this thread. (Forgive me, but I am just trying to keep thing straight here).


 
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bb moondog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 492
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2008-04-18 08:01 am   Permalink

I just realized that these establishments were probably bought or inherited by people who gave NOT A THING for the whole tiki scene and are now probably coming up for resale, People of the tiki community MAY be buying them up and refurbishing them...so there is hope for the whole day glo REMOVAL at least for whatever icons still remain and are not beyond repair
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sweatin' to Quiet Village in AZ


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11104
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-18 08:28 am   Permalink

Not necessarily so. Some of the above places that painted their Tikis were still under the original ownership. Please realize that most of that painting was done with GOOD INTENTIONS. People get tired of a thing, their tastes and perceptions change. People FORGET what it was that they liked about something in the first place. Tiki veterans are no exception.

Plus, do not kid yourself to think that all owners necessarily did understand or were aware of Tiki as a style. Often it was the designers and the carvers that were the determining factor in maintaining the stylistic quality of a place. Nowadays there is the added small community of us crazies that are the only ones that give a rats ass about it.


[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-04-18 08:32 ]


 
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ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2008-04-18 08:36 am   Permalink

My dilemma:

I obtained a pair of 7 foot tiki poles from the former Honolulu Restaurant outside of Washington D.C. When I first visited the Honolulu in 1998, these poles were painted in rather bright primary colors. All of my memories of the Honolulu took place when these poles were painted in these colors. I obtained these poles as a final souvenir of the Honolulu.

My question .... Should I keep the bright colors of the tiki poles as they currently exist, and thus preserving the final heritage of the Honolulu? or should I strip the paint, and try to create a more traditional look?

I myself am OK with the look of these poles, and am leaning towards keeping them as is, but am curious to hear of other people's opinions.

Vern


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3513
From: HELL
Posted: 2008-04-18 09:07 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-04-18 08:36, ikitnrev wrote:
My dilemma:

I obtained a pair of 7 foot tiki poles from the former Honolulu Restaurant outside of Washington D.C. When I first visited the Honolulu in 1998, these poles were painted in rather bright primary colors. All of my memories of the Honolulu took place when these poles were painted in these colors. I obtained these poles as a final souvenir of the Honolulu.

My question .... Should I keep the bright colors of the tiki poles as they currently exist, and thus preserving the final heritage of the Honolulu? or should I strip the paint, and try to create a more traditional look?

I myself am OK with the look of these poles, and am leaning towards keeping them as is, but am curious to hear of other people's opinions.

Vern




strip those suckers!! their original condition is natural stained wood....which would not be in violation of the honolulu heritage....however it would be a violation of your memories.....hmmmmm..choose to keep the memories and the past alive.....or step boldly into the future and give those poles back the look and life they deserve....nay, that they were born with!!!

[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-04-18 09:07 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-04-18 09:08 ]


 
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Jungle Trader
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Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3735
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2008-04-18 09:18 am   Permalink

HEY VERN.....strip 'em.

 
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Capt'n Skully
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 404
From: The Lost Lagoon
Posted: 2008-04-18 09:23 am   Permalink

I'll leave this one for Bro Tiki to describe better.. I just posted it to make his hairs stand on end twice!

Kahiki Witco- under bright, florescent lights:


Personally- I don't agree with it exactly, but wouldn't doubt that the painting of tikis seemed ok sitting next to PNG imports being adorned with color. Combine that with the dark lighting in tiki bars (where the bright colors don't show up as much), Orchids of Hawaii schwag (the Party City tiki of the era), North Pacific totems and the 60s psychedelic movement - With all that going on, something's going to get painted when it starts looking aged..
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11104
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-04-18 09:51 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-04-18 09:23, Capt'n Skully wrote:
I'll leave this one for Bro Tiki to describe better.. I just posted it to make his hairs stand on end twice!



They are standin', they are standin'!!! If I could, I would post one of those Ren & Stimpy moments, where first the eyes bug out, than they explode, leaving only empty eye sockets with smoke fizzling from them. That would more aptly describe my reaction.

The Papua New Guinea colors certainly do have a place in Tiki Style, as was discussed on TC before, and the discussion should continue here, as I do not postulate that ALL colorization is bad. Basically, they are earthen, washed and muted tones. I do not see any PNG color concepts in the above posted Tikis.


 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1313
Posted: 2008-04-18 12:15 pm   Permalink

Here is the Tiki in the back banquet room st Sam's Seafood that escaped the paint job in the eighties in the bar.



So who carved these originally? Here are the poor Tiki that didn't escape the LSD disco painting party.
I still say we need to have a paint stripping party there and save these guys.














 
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Kaiwaza
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 06, 2003
Posts: 460
From: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Posted: 2008-04-18 1:02 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-04-18 08:36, ikitnrev wrote:
My dilemma:

I obtained a pair of 7 foot tiki poles from the former Honolulu Restaurant outside of Washington D.C. When I first visited the Honolulu in 1998, these poles were painted in rather bright primary colors. All of my memories of the Honolulu took place when these poles were painted in these colors. I obtained these poles as a final souvenir of the Honolulu.

My question .... Should I keep the bright colors of the tiki poles as they currently exist, and thus preserving the final heritage of the Honolulu? or should I strip the paint, and try to create a more traditional look?

I myself am OK with the look of these poles, and am leaning towards keeping them as is, but am curious to hear of other people's opinions.


My opinion:
If you enjoy them painted and it brings back pleasant memories to you that way, by all means, keep them that way.
I mean, honestly, we're not talking about Van Gogh or Rembrandt here, tiki art was POP art made for commercial purposes and often only distantly connected to any "real" cultural relevence.
I'm sure many here will disagree with me, but that's my opinion.

Vern


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Polynesiac
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2008-04-18 4:27 pm   Permalink

Ojaitmo - Most of the original tikis at sam's seafood were carved by Richard Ellis. HOwever, in this picture:



The tiki on the right was carved by tikidiablo.

Vern - I say (as much as I don't like the dayglow effect) leave them as they are. I think if I were in your shoes, I'd have more fond memories with the tikis painted as they are and how you remember them. If I were ever fortunate enough to get a garishly painted tiki from an establishment that I frequented (while it was painted the whole time), I would probably not strip it.

---------
edited because I posted the wrong picture

[ This Message was edited by: Polynesiac 2008-04-18 16:29 ]


 
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