Saturday, October 31, 2015


Avi Kiriaty, though not born in  Hawaii, certainly has captured the soul of the Hawaiian landscape and peoples. He was born in Israel in 1957 but his journey through life has taken him from the Israeli Army, to a Greek Island, to a winter cottage in New Hampshire. Following the birth of his daughter Keytoe, Avi moved to Hawaii. His first year was spent on Kauai, where he experimented for a time with oil painting. From there he moved to the  eastern side of the Big Island, to begin to live “kama‘aina” with the land, farming and fishing. His son, Jazz, was born here on an old Hawaiian homestead. Avi then moved to the Puna Rainforest and began to live the life of an “artist”.

Father Damien of Molokai
While Avi has worked in many media... oil painting, linoleum block printing, lava and bronze sculpture, pencil and ink drawing, watercolors, ceramic platters, and serigraphs, my favorites are his oils. They are a feast of lush colors and bold lines,depicting the Polynesian lifestyle of every day events.  Here I present a few of my favorites, some recalling my years living in the islands.  "Kanaka Blues" reminds me of the many nights listening to the great slack-key artist, Sonny Chillingsworth  and "Soldier fish" of the many hours diving in clear blue waters as assorted rainbow colored fish swam by me.

 Here in Waimea, I visited the local museum and saw some of his paintings- colors amazing!  I could write a blog just on this museum but... the director is the aunt of my sheep shearer on Orcas  Island, and one of the artists in the permanent collection is the great uncle of our closest neighbor on Shaw. Small world!

Kanaka Blues
Soldier Fish

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