I’m calling this one “Sergeant Tiki” and it is a salute to how returning soldiers, from the South Pacific, introduced tiki culture to Americans after WWII. Many of these vets brought home tropical souvenirs and told great stories of their adventures from this far away paradise. “Sergeant Tiki” also reflects my own personal experience in the army, as well as my residence in Hawai’i. I spent 4 1/2 years in the military and was stationed in a small Bavarian town in Germany called Kitzingen. I later got deployed to Macedonia and Kosovo (the Disneyland of Europe) and spent about 8 months there. Now that I teach art here in Hawai’i, I make it a point to tell my students about my service and deployment, and I always get the same question: “Did you kill anyone?” And since I want to seem like a tough guy, I usually respond with, “I’m not allowed to talk about that”. Truth be told when my dad asked me, “What did you do in the Army son?” I answered with one word, “HIDE!” So Sergeant Tiki really encompasses the kind of soldier I was, I wanted to appear tough, but honestly I just wanted to sit on the beach and drink Mai Tais while I threw Pineapples at my commanders.
This painting was made with acrylic on birch panel and measures 5″x7″. It comes in a rustic wood frame bringing the total size to 11.5″x9.5″.