Monday, December 24, 2007

Offline: See You in 2008!

The Tiki Chris blogs are on hiatus while I enjoy some holiday cheer with family and friends. See you next year!


Merry Christmas,
Chris

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Very Dry New Year

Thanks to Michael Murphy for sliding this ridiculous Xmas ad my way! Just click the image to read the fine print.
























Merry Christmas everybody!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Arty Week in Review (Friday December 21, 2007)

I actually managed to create a little content for y'all this week. For one, I snapped copious photos at the Sartorial Contemporary Art opening of the "Notting Heaven" group exhibition. Ditto at Leonard Street Gallery, where German graffiti-collaborative team, Herakut were setting up for their exhibition with Luc Price. I got to hang behind the scenes during the set up and even nabbed an interview with Herakut. Speaking of interviews, my whitehot magazine interview with Strychnin Gallery owner Yasha Young is up and waiting for you to take a look-see. And last but certainly not least, I rounded out 2007's Artist Profiles with a quick piece about one of my favourite drinking buddies, Michael Murphy. He's a pretty fab artist as well. I'm probably gonna sign off until the New Year with this post, but I will continue posting my Daily Photos at ontoLondon.

Thanks to everyone for making 2007 a phenomenally fun year!

Enjoy your weekend,
Chris

---

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Strychnin Gallery Interview for Whitehot Magazine

Interview with Yasha Young of Strychnin Gallery
Chris Osburn
whitehot magazine of contemporary art
December 2007

















... once dreams come true they do not always turn out the way we hoped to - and how difficult it all can be and will be and the idea of what happens when parents leave the room and we are left alone with the monsters under out beds and the ghosts on the ceilings and the whispers in the closet?


Click
here for complete interview.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Herakut X 2 (and Some Luc Price)

Here are the links to a couple of lil diddies I did for Juxtapoz: one, photos from the opening of the Herakut/Luc Price exhibition at London's Leonard Street Gallery and two, an interview with Germany's dynamic graffiti duo, Herakut. Enjoy.

Photos: Herakut and Luc Price in London
by Chris Osburn

Juxtapoz
Tuesday, 18 December 2007










Photos from the December 15th opening of Permission to Paint at London's Leonard Street Gallery. The show features new works and installation by German graffiti duo Herakut as well as new works and installation by British artist Luc Price. Permission to Paint is on view until January 11th.

Click here for all the photos.

---

Interview: Herakut - Mutual Appreciation
Words and photos by Chris Osburn
Juxtapoz
Tuesday, 18 December 2007










Herakut, the girl/boy German collaborative graffiti team of Hera and Akut, is as unlikely a "crew" as ever you're apt to meet. By the time he was fourteen, scruffy and self-taught Akut was already painting in the streets while graceful and tidy Hera was in the midst of her ten years of a stringent technical arts education, to which her work is more of a reaction than a reference.

Click here for the complete interview.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tiki Bar TV Episode 31: Casino



Click here to visit the Tiki Bar TV website.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Artist Profile: Michael Murphy

Tiki bars with helipads? Atomic mushroom clouds and lush mid-century bachelor pads? Rounding out a year's worth of Artist Profiles is architect/artist Michael Murphy.


With his paintings and digital art, Michael interprets traditional architectural illustration while bringing out the potential drama within all good design. Michael's arty side leans toward the cinematic while his architectural discipline seeks "to retain some semblance of reality in terms of perspective and structure." However, no in
ternal struggle is revealed in the resulting artwork. What is apparent is cliffhanger architectural imagery that captivates with its very human stories without ever showing any people. For example, one of his prints, entitled "Cocktail before Target Practice," features the silhouette of a helicopter atop a building with London's BT Tower in the background and an intense yellow sky. Who's having a cocktail with whom and where? Very captivating stuff, open to interpretation with no egregious meaning crowding the viewer's imagination.




To get more of Michael's take, check out my interview with him for Londonist.

To view more of Michael’s work visit:
http://www.supersonic.designinblue.com/.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Doin' the Yuletide Glide (Friday December 14, 2007)

That same busy non-blogosphere agenda from last week crept into this one, resulting in even less posting from me this week. In fact, I've decided to place Rapa Nui News on indefinite hiatus. I plan to give it a think over the holidays and see if it's worth continuing.

Anyway, the folks who collectively are known as "The Streetcar Team" were kind enough to provide some content by commenting on my negative review of their service. Click
here for that post and their attempt to "understand further what went wrong and then try and put it right."

You might want to also take a look at all the Yuletidal Daily Photos I've been posting at ontoLondon.

Enjoy your weekend,
Chris

---

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tiki Bar TV Episode 30: Ice Breaker



Click here to visit the Tiki Bar TV website.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Week into December (Friday November 7, 2007)

Hey! A busy non-blogosphere agenda means minimal posting from me this week. Still, I found the time to post an index for all those California Road Trip posts as well as a link to my WhiteHot Magazine interview with UK street art collective, the Invisible Art Club.

F
or ontoLondon, I got back to posting my own Daily Photos, all of which have a somewhat Christmas-y bent. Expect the same for the rest of this month. I also posted a negative (and slightly bitter) review of Streetcar, London's self-service pay-as-you-go car rental nightmare.

Enjoy your weekend,
Chris

---

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tiki Bar TV Episode 29: The Wedding



Click here to visit the Tiki Bar TV website.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Three Kings at Light Gallery in Costa Mesa, California


Three Kings Opening Reception
December 15th
Light Gallery
440 East 17th Street
Costa Mesa (within waliking distance of La Cave and the Little Knight)
December 15-January 5th

You heard it right! Ken Ruzic,Clysdalle and Big Toe have combined forces to bring you a pre-Holiday Show Extravaganza! More great art there than you can shake a stick at (if that's your thing...shaking sticks at paintings...)!

http://myspace.com/tom_laura
http://www.davidlozeau.com/
http://www.kenruzic.com/

Invisible Art Club Interview for Whitehot Magazine

Chris Osburn Interviews the Invisible Art Club
Chris Osburn
whitehot magazine of contemporary art
December 2007













The Invisible Art Club is a group of individuals with a shared love of art. Our common link is a connection to graffiti and street art. From graf writers who started 20 years ago and are still going strong, to artists who have hung up their spray cans and moved on to other mediums to artists from a more traditional background who simply happen to hang out with a lot of street artists. With our wide range of influences and experience, we bring fresh styles and perspectives to the print world.

Click here for complete interview.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Rest in Peace, Evel Knievel

Before Jackass, there was Evel. I was a little kid in the Seventies. One of my earliest heroes has passed on. Thanks for blowing my mind, Evel Knievel!

US daredevil Evel Knievel dies
Legendary US daredevil Evel Knievel has died at the age of 69, his granddaughter has said.
BBC News
Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 22:26 GMT

By the time he retired in 1980 Knievel had broken nearly 40 bones.

Click
here for complete article.

---

Iconic Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies at 69
By MITCH STACY
Associated Press
Friday, 30 November 2007

Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

Click
here for complete article.

---

Evel Knievel Dies at 69
By
PAT DAWSON/BUTTE
Time
Friday, Nov. 30, 2007

Born in Butte, Montana, Oct. 17, 1938, Knievel made a name for himself for his daredevil feats, jumping rows of vehicles, natural chasms and other obstacles.

Click
here for complete article.

---



Friday, November 30, 2007

November's a Wrap (Friday November 30, 2007)

Okay, I wrapped up my California Road Trip posts. Here are the one's from this past week:

- California Road Trip: Ginger
- California Road Trip: Ert
- California Road Trip: Tiki Crawl!
- California Road Trip: Forbidden Island
- California Road Trip: Tiki Racer!

I'll probably still have some peripheral road trip related stuff to write about in the next week or so but that's it for the travelogue. Click here to view all the California Road Trip posts to date.


The last of photographer Anna Krsikova's Daily Photos are up at
ontoLondon, but don't be surprised if her photos appear there again. Anna deserves a huge thanks for providing all those great images and helping make November a much less bumpy ride for yours truly. Treat yourself to some visual intrigue by clicking here to view all her photos from the past month.

Enjoy your weekend,
Chris
---

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

California Road Trip: Tiki Racer!

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


Although he had to head back to England before the Crawl, the indomitable Tiki Racer road tripped along with me all the way from Heathrow. His enthusiasm and planning prowess were most appreciated, not to mention the fact that he was brave enough to spend over a week roaming around on a crazy adventure with yours truly. Good show, Tiki Racer. See ya soon.

Make sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

California Road Trip: Forbidden Island

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


















The Tiki Crawl was an absolute blast with plenty of good times. Some of the best moments were by no coincidence at Forbidden Island, a fine little Polynesian-themed bar in the East Bay town of Alameda. What a place! Phenomenal drinks (I highly recommend the house cocktail, the Nui Nui and the Monkeypod) in a honest to goodness Tiki setting (kitted out by folks who know). To have opened only in 2006, the place oozes with atmosphere and ranks up there with some of the all-time great Tiki bars of yore.


















This may sound incredibly stupid and cheesy but Forbidden Island kinda reminded me of a Tiki version of "Cheers" - everybody seemed to know each other. The bar certainly had the vibe of being a preferred drinking establishment. Of course, there was plenty of aloha spirit for first-timers like me. Regulars aren't necessarily all that local either. If only I were a little more local though. I would love to spend more time drinking at Forbidden Island!





















Click here to view my Flickr set of photos of my visit to Tiki Farm and be sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

California Road Trip: Tiki Crawl!

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.
























The gods must have been with me when I initially planned to make the Bay Area the final destination of my California Road Trip. Without knowing it, I had arranged to be there just in time for the Seventh Tiki Central Tiki Crawl (Indeed, the Crawl had not even been announced yet).
I had almost made it to this event a few times in the past but more pressing matters always managed to get in the way. At long last, this was the year.


I've been gabbin' online at Tiki Central for the better part of a decade and subsequently have made some pretty great friends without ever meeting most of them in person. It was so awesome to finally put names to faces and talk in real time. Gosh, everybody was so flippin' nice. Mahalo to all for the hospitality, especially my hosts for the weekend, TofuJoe and Haole'akamai!


As anyone who was there could tell you, I took several zillion photos during the event. For the time being, I'm gonna hold on to them until my article about the Crawl (with pics) appears in the Spring '08 issue of Tiki Magazine. Of course, there are plenty of photos and commentary over at Barefoot Bloggin', and of course on Tiki Central.

Make sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

California Road Trip: Ert

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


Spending a few days in San Francisco provided me with an excellent and long awaited opportunity to meet up with Juxtapoz Magazine's webmaster Ert O'Hara. Regular readers of this blog will be well aware that Ert can keep me pretty busy running around London taking snapshots for the Juxtapoz website. Of course, that's all via email correspondence. So, it was nice to finally meet in person. The above photograph of Ert and me was taken in the lobby of the Phoenix Hotel, my digs for a couple of nights. The desk clerk at the Phoenix was really top notch but had a bit of trouble keeping my camera steady. Oh well, I'd still stay there again.

Make sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts! Click here to view work I've done for Juxtapoz.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

California Road Trip: Ginger

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


Like I said on Thursday, I've got a lot to be thankful for. A great example of thanks-worthy stuff is that I was able to spend some quality time with my old friend Ginger while in California. I've known Ginger for about a quarter century. She comes from the same small town as I do and (I'm happy to report) is still just as awesome and as individual as ever. These days, she lives in San Francisco, which is where I ended up hanging for a few days toward the end of my trip.

Make sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Another Week Down (Friday November 23, 2007)

This week finds me still reminiscing about my phenomenal time in California. Man, that was a lot of fun. Here's a list of this week's posts about the trip (and there are more posts to come):

- California Road Trip: Tiki Island at the Bali Hai
- California Road Trip: Humphrey's Half Moon Inn
- California Road Trip: Tiki Farm
- California Road Trip: Art Jam at Ken Ruzic's Studio
- California Road Trip: Chongolian Hospitality

Click here to view all the California Road Trip posts to date.


I continued posted my Hollywood photo series as well. Click here to visit ontoTravel for a look.

As for the entirety of this month, London photographer Anna Krsikova has provided ontoLondon with all of this week's London Daily Photos. Anna has a seemingly innate sense of what's visually intriguing about this town and an uncanny ability to capture moments that the average passerby would overlook or simply not have audacity (and sheer luck!) to capture. A new photo by Anna will appear each day for the rest of this month. Do yourself a huge favour and check 'em all out!


Have a wonderful weekend,
Chris
---

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I've got so much. I'm so thankful. I never imagined I'd be such a lucky so-n-so. Here's to the good times. May there be many more in the years to come.


Photography by
Chris Osburn © 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

California Road Trip: Chongolian Hospitality

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.
























A highlight of my California Road Trip was finally getting to meet artist/illustrator and s
elf-described "freewheelin' monkey boy" Chongolio. I've known Chongo since 2005, when the two of us collaborated on a limited edition, three-volume illustrated series based upon the ancient Hawaiian legend of Kamapua'a, the Hawaiian Pig God. However, at that time I was living in New Jersey and Chongo was in Santa Cruz. We produced the series via the Internet and a whole lotta gabbin' on the phone. Despite never actually meeting in person, we really hit it off and our emails and gabbin' continued well past the time we had sold our last pig god book.

Although a native Californian, Chongolio now lives on Kauai. As one of the Tiki Island at the Bali Hai's showing artists, he came over to the mainland for the exhibition and to visit with family and friends ... and to cruise up the coast with me and Tiki Racer. Much of what made our trip so memorable was Chongo's aloha-spirit. That and the fact he frickin' knows everybody in the state of California. See, Chongo's the one that got Holden to open up Tiki Farm on a Sunday for us. Chongo's also the mastermind behind the wacky hang time at Ken Ruzic's studio. Et cetera, et cetera.

Thanks man!

For more about Chongolio, the artist, click here to read my artist profile about him.

Related links:
Barefoot Bloggin'
Chongolio's Lost-Isle
Coconut Wired with Chongolio and Friends

Make sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Tiki Racer

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

California Road Trip: Art Jam at Ken Ruzic's Studio

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


As mentioned in my last post, next on our road trippin' agenda was the Orange County studio of Mr Prolific himself, Ken Ruzic (aka Little Lost Tiki on Tiki Central). Rather than reinvent the spiel, allow me to point you in the direction of a Barefoot Bloggin' post about the day by eye-witness Chongolio:

Takin' it easy, crusin' the coast and hangin' out
by Chongolio
Barefoot Bloggin'
Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We ... charged down to Little Lost Tiki's art studio for an art jam/ Tiki Frat party. LLT hooked Tiki Racer and I up with art supplies and technique tips. We all got creative while Chris snapped some pics. A bit later Squid had stopped by and so did Big Tiki Dude and Jonpaul with some rum and snacks. It wasn't long before we were all laughin' and havin' a good ol time drinkin', creatin' art and makin' up names for Jon Paul to use as a handle on Tiki Central, most of which should not be repeated.

Click
here
for complete post.

Ken:


Chongolio:


Tiki Racer:

Be sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts and don't be surprised if Ken and his art make another appearance some time soon.

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

California Road Trip: Tiki Farm

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


Leaving San Diego, Tiki Racer, Chongolio and I zipped up the road to San Clemente, home of the "purveyors of Polynesian Pop," Tiki Farm! In case you didn't know, Tiki Farm is the word in Tiki mugs. The odds are pretty good that, even if you didn't realize it, you've at least seen a mug that came through here. And if you're even remotely into Tiki or low brow art, you probably own some.


Founder/president, and all round cool kahuna, Holden Westland kindly opened up his warehouse (on a Sunday morning no less!) for us to snoop around and drool. He showed us sketches of pre-production mugs and dug out some of the first ones he ever produced. He also opened up his awesome private bar, Mugoomba, for us. As was the case at Oceanic Arts, all that Polynesian Pop in a warehouse setting made my head spin. In addition to a few incredibly generous freebies, Holden was thoughtful enough to throw in a couple of bottles of Trader Vic's Mai Tai mix for our next stop, Ken Ruzic's studio (more on that in my next post)! Mahalo for taking the time for us, Holden!




Click here to view my Flickr set of photos of my visit to Tiki Farm and be sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

California Road Trip: Humphrey's Half Moon Inn

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


While in San Diego to attend "Tiki Island at the Bali Hai" (see yesterday's post), I stayed across the way at Humphrey's Half Moon Inn. Like the Bali Hai and Trader Mort's, Humphrey's is a mid century Polynesian-style biz on Shelter Island. Right on the water, it's a really sweet little hotel where I'd be more than happy to stay again. Several tikis and other exotic features, such as a couple of lovey-dovey parrots and a wide range of lush tropical plants, adorn the well kept grounds. The area around the pool is particularly nice with a high concentration of carvings. Another notable feature is the jutting A-frame with giant lantern which marks the entrance to the hotel's main lobby. At night this entrance is encircled in the glow of a few massive open torches. Equally evocative, most of the tikis are lit from below adding a little South Seas mystique every evening.




Click here to view my Flickr set of photos of Humphrey's Half Moon Inn and be sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

California Road Trip: Tiki Island at the Bali Hai

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, compatriots Tiki Racer and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.
























One of the main reasons I traveled to California was to attend "Tiki Island at the Bali Hai," a group exhibition featuring several of today's top Polynesian Pop artists. As the name implies, the show was held at the Bali Hai restaurant on San Diego's Shelter Island (see Thursday's post about Trader Mort's for a description of Shelter Island).


The Bali Hai, a fifty four year old Polynesian-themed restaurant of circular shape with an infamous and iconic crowned head of a "Goof" atop its roof, provided an excellent setting for the show. A good number of Tiki fans made it out to the event, which featured live music by Hapa Haole band, the Smokin' Menehunes. Many of the exhibiting artist were also on hand, coming from as far away as Hawaii (Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker, Thor and Chongolio), Georgia (Derek Yaniger), Florida (Hassan Patterson) and England (Tiki Racer). A number of the artists in attendance had participated in my Halloween Skull Mask Project. It was awesome to have 'em all in one room and to shake their hands. Equally awesome was finally meeting Tiki Magazine's publisher Nick Camara and senior editor Eileen Silva, both whom I've worked closely with as TM's marketing director but had yet to actually meet in person. The presence of so many enthusiastic and talented people created a palpable buzz. It was a real fun night filled with aloha.


Click here to view my Flickr set of photos of the Bali Hai and be sure to read more about the "Tiki Island at the Bali Hai" art show in the Spring '08 issue of Tiki Magazine.

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Back from California (Friday November 16, 2007)

Okay. I'm back from California, still reeling from all the super friendly people I met there. I started a series of posts on the Tiki Chris blog about the trip. Here's what I've got so far:

California Road Trip: Tiki-Ti
California Road Trip: Oceanic Arts
California Road Trip: Trader Mort's

I also started a series of posts of photos taken in Hollywood. Click here to visit ontoTravel and check 'em out. Believe me, I've got plenty more California gladness to blab about. Stay tuned for more posts in the days to come about the experience.

While bopping around the other end of the world, London photographer Anna Krsikova was kind enough to provide ontoLondon with its daily photos. She's got a phenomenal eye, and I'm stoked to have this opportunity to host her images. A new photo by Anna will appear each day for the rest of this month. Thanks Anna!


Have a wonderful weekend,
Chris
---

Thursday, November 15, 2007

California Road Trip: Trader Mort's

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, compatriots Tiki Racer and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


After two nights in LA, Tiki Racer and I headed down the 5 for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show. The show was to be held at the Bali Hai restaurant on San Diego's Shelter Island. Developed in the early 1950s, this tiny "island" (it's actually a man-made peninsula) is chocked full of mid century modern architecture set against the backdrop of downtown San Diego's skyline across the bay. Among the most notable of Shelter Island's buildings is Trader Mort's, a liquor store on the main drag. As a liquor store, it's just okay with a decent selection. What makes this place fantabulously special is the shop's Polynesian Pop design. In particular, there's a huge cartoony Tiki out front with a big red tongue and hypno-goofy eyes. Lots of carvings by artist Bosko on the exterior and interior of the building add to the visual splendor.



Click here to view my Flickr set of photos of Trader Mort's. Expect more about the art show and about my Tiki time in San Diego in upcoming posts.

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

California Road Trip: Oceanic Arts

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, compatriot Tiki Racer and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.


My first full day in California found Tiki Racer and me driving to Whittier to visit Oceanic Arts, “the world’s leading supplier of tropical and Polynesian d├ęcor since 1956.” OA is still run by the original owners, Leroy Schmaltz and Bob Van Oosting, who have kitted out virtually every major Tiki establishment in the world, including Disneyland and Trader Vic’s. Critiki aptly describes OA as a “Home Depot of sorts for the tikiphile.” I would just like to add that it's also one of very few must-see old school Tiki destinations still in existence today.


Fortunately, Bob (pictured above) was in to show us around during our visit. He also shared some great stories with us, such as accounts of his and Leroy’s 1960 visit to Papua New Guinea. The mix of tropical kitsch and Polynesian artefacts in an industrial warehouse setting made me giddy and camera happy. My trip was off to a brilliant start.

Click here to view my Flickr set of photos from my day at OA.

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

California Road Trip: Tiki-Ti

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, compatriots Tiki Racer and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.





















I spent two nights in Hollywood at the beginning of my trip with both nights ending up at the half century old landmark cocktail bar, Tiki-Ti. And with good reason! I sampled some of the best cocktails I'd ever had, including the Tiki-Ti's signature drink, Ray's Mistake. Concocted in 1968, Ray's Mistake (named after original Tiki-Ti owner Ray Buhen) is a mix of "our own super secret flavor, botanic liqueurs, passion fruit ... floated with Dark Corub rum." Some mistake. This liquid masterpiece tasted unlike any drink I'd ever had and is one I highly recommend.

Interestingly, the Tiki-Ti is one of the few watering holes in California where people can legally smoke. Because the bar is solely owned by father/son duo Mike and Mike (Junior) Buhen, smokers at the Tiki-Ti are thus able to blow smoke through a legal loophole and ignore the Los Angeles County smoking ban. The two nights I was there, this fact seemed to be a big selling point for a number of patrons.

My first night at the Ti (Halloween) was particularly nice as my travel partner Tiki Racer and I were greeted at the bar by Tiki Magazine photo editor Jonpaul Balak and his super sweet lady friend Marie. I hadn't seen those kids since Hukilau and was pleased to discover they had waited (quite some time) for the Racer and me.



















Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Online

Okay, I'm back.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Offline and in California

The Tiki Chris blogs are on hiatus while I go have some fun in California with my Tiki art buddies Chongolio and Tiki Racer ... as mentioned in this Barefoot Bloggin' post by Chongolio.




















Tiki Island at the Bali Hai






The 7th annual Tiki Central Tiki Crawl

I'll be back (and possibly with a tan)!

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