Taschen (25 Sep 2007): Taschen's "Book of Tiki" provided the blueprint for the re-appreciation and revival of Tiki style....
Taschen (25 Sep 2007): Taschen's "Book of Tiki" provided the blueprint for the re-appreciation and revival of Tiki style. Almost completely wiped from the consciousness of Americans until recently, Sven Kirsten's tome put Tiki on the map as a unique pop culture phenomenon. Never before had Tiki culture's visual power and pervasiveness been revealed with such detail and insight. Not only did the book inspire the erecting of many new Tiki bars from New York to London to Berlin to Prague to Waikiki, but also motivated a myriad of Tiki artisans to pick up the chisel and carry on the forgotten tradition, while spurring many others to create their own home hideaways, making "Tiki" a household name again. This new follow-up book, which brings together the two recent retro trends of mid-century modernism and Tiki style, is bound to lift the Tiki craze to a new level. With his usual mixture of ironic detachment and genuine enthusiasm for the subject, Kirsten shows us how primitivism and modernism were two sides of the same coin in the 1950s and 60s. Decor deities and ersatz ancestors outrageously merged in the modern brutalist furniture from the house of Witco, a company that outfitted Elvis Presley's Jungle Room and Hugh Hefner's Chicago Playboy pool. This was design porn at its best.
About the Author
Sven Kirsten was conceived on a freighter of his grandfather's Hamburg-Chicago Line. Following the call of the big world, he moved to California at the age of 25. Kirsten studied at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and began shooting music videos in the late 1980s for The Cramps, Tom Waits, Sergio Mendes and others. After years of hunting down pieces of the puzzle of Polynesian Pop, Kirsten has developed a singular insight into the Cult of Tiki and has become the country's most eminent Tiki archaeologist.