Urban islands and bamboo hideaways set the stage for a pop culture phenomenon like no other. In mid-century America, the imaginative appeal of Tiki penetrated fashion, music, eating, drinking, and architecture.
Tiki Pop traces the development of Tiki as romantic vision and cultural appropriation. Follow Tiki from James Cook's first Pacific Island expeditions, through Gauguin's exotic paintings, Hollywood jungle fantasies, and elaborate temples erected to celebrate Tiki as the god of recreation. With hundreds of images, Tiki the pop icon unfolds from its earliest, enthusiastic beginnings to its spectacular downfall in the dawning awareness of the Western world’s colonial misdeeds. The result is at once a visual feast, a piece of cultural history, and a tribute to a very particular vision of paradise.