Sven Kirsten’s “Tiki Pop: America Imagines Its Own Polynesia”
by Owen James Burke
The Tiki has come and gone in pop culture since Captain Cook’s Pacific expeditions, Gauguin’s early paintings and Jack London’s South Sea Tales first brought it to western attention, but in case you somehow haven’t had enough, or weren’t yet on earth in time to enjoy this fantastically tacky point in time, here’s a salty bit of yesteryear for your coffee table. Through art, literature, film, fashion and of course, the bar, urban archaeologist and Tiki authority Sven Kirsten takes us on a visual and historical tour of the Tiki with Tiki Pop: America Imagines Its Own Polynesia.
Published alongside an exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, Tiki Pop is a tribute the Tiki as an iconic symbol of paradise.
Putting a finger on where it all went wrong with the Tiki is no ordinary person’s task, but Kirsten, a specialist of all things Tiki, takes us on an elaborate tour of mid-century American Tiki culture like you’ve never seen it before, and likely won’t ever again.
Pick up a copy here — OJB