My love affair with the Street Art on Oahu started with ‘Sea Creatures Playing Poker’. I spotted it when I went to renew our monthly marina parking permit with Diamond Parking at the end of February. And there it was, this amazing mural. It wasn’t there when I renewed our permit at the end of January. I thought ‘I have to get a picture of this to share with my friends! Who wouldn’t love a picture of sea creatures playing poker?’ (okay, maybe lots of people, but I LOVED It).
Unfortunately, there were many cars blocking the shot, but a guy I met in the parking lot (people are really friendly in Hawaii) said that the lot would ‘clear out’ in an hour after the local businesses closed for the weekend. So I decided to run a few errands, and come back for a picture. And then, I turned around to get into my car and saw Elvis. He is really big in Hawaii and now here was this fabulous mural paying homage to him. Love Elvis. Had to take a picture.
After the snap, I set out to do some grocery shopping, giddy with anticipation of returning to get a better shot of the poker playing Sea Creatures. When returning from the grocery store, I noticed EVEN MORE Street Art. It was every where (a few examples below). I thought ‘well this is a really cool neighborhood’. A stark urban landscape transformed by color.
I went back to Diamond Parking to take that last shot of ‘Sea Creatures’, still blocked by a few cars, and then headed home. The next day, The Captain and I headed to his favorite Dim Sum restaurant in Oahu, Happy Days. Again, I saw Street Art popping off the walls of the surrounding buildings. I thought ‘is this stuff every where in every city and I’ve just missed it because I spent too much time in an office and too little time opening my eyes?’ [Answer: Yes]
Then, as I was photographing some of the images outside Gecko Comics, a woman walking by stopped and said ‘I read an article in the local paper recently about all of these great murals near Fisher Hawaii. You have to go there if you enjoy this type of art.’
And that is when the world of color exploded.
The predominance of the Street Art I ‘discovered’ was created as part of Pow! Wow!, a week-long event in February that brings together a global network of artists to create murals and other forms of art. Pow! Wow!, now in its fifth year, provided me with a wealth of images to get my color fix. But I also found images that were created outside of the event.
To give you a taste of what I’ve seen on Oahu, I have created the gallery below.
If you want more, you can see all of the images that I captured here.
So where from here? First, I need a Street Artist name. I loved many of the names that I came across like Bother, ENDR, Dmote, Know Hope, Askew, and Misery. I need (and am in many ways afraid to hear) your suggestions.
Next, I will need to learn how to draw and paint . I come from a family with little artistic talent, although we hang out with/date/marry great artists and we are your biggest fans. You want us in your audience!
I am truly disappointed that I did not get to see all of the Pow! Wow! Murals. My ‘shore leave’ is coming to an end I need to focus on getting the boat ready for our departure from Oahu at the beginning of April. I will just have to enjoy the missed murals on the ‘virtual’ streets.
**UPDATED 14 April 2014 with my Hilo, Hawaii Street Art Gallery**
**Note 20 June 2016 – I have since come up with my street artist name: ‘SKWALL’. Now I just need to learn how to create street art. **
This post is dedicated to Coco (Sarah Saxton) who made me aware of the Street Artist Bansky shortly before I started seeing Street Art every where. Thanks for opening my eyes Coco!
Note to the Street Artists captured in this post. If I’ve failed to identify you correctly or at all, please let me know and I will update immediately.