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Tiki: Discovering a Lost Culture in Your Own Backyard - presented by Sven Kirsten

Speaker Meeting Recap:

Tiki Culture - that whimsical pop culture style that transports us to some faraway south-sea island with palm trees, massive carvings and bamboo furniture was popular in the middle of the last century and is very popular again today. It has inspired high-end restaurants, bars, parties, backyards and even apartment buildings, including many in the Valley. Sven Kirsten, will discuss how he first came upon American Tiki culture, and will share with us the historic and stylistic intricacies of this whimsical pop culture genre. Sven was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1955. Visiting the local zoo, museums, and sailors' bars of St. Pauli, left him longing for distant shores. In 1980 he emigrated to California. His career in music video production in Los Angeles included photographing music videos for such diverse talents as Tom Waits, Sergio Mendes, Billy Joel and The Cramps. He began collecting the forgotten culture of Polynesian pop in America, calling it “Tiki”.

Seeing it as an unrecognized art form, he published the first book on the iconic style The Book of Tiki, in September 2000. The book presented Tiki style, design, graphics, architecture, social culture and cocktail mixology. Several more books on Tiki style and a music CD followed. His books are regarded as the standard work on the style. Kirsten has lectured, written, and advised on Tiki culture around the world. In 2014, Kirsten curated the largest museum exhibition on Tiki pop culture, at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. He has also worked in Cape Town, Prague and Havana, but is at home in Los Angeles. Please join us for our September 22 meeting at the Andres Pico Adobe as Sven inspires us for a Tiki revival!

Book of Tiki Purchase Here


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