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Scultping A Culture


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Certainly on the other end of the scale to what I strive to achieve. Obviously only catering for the cheap tourist trade. Certainly not a good insight into the craftsmanship that is seen by many artists and carvers in NZ.


Thanks for sharing none the less,



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I could not agree more, I first wanted to post it into the "Cultural differences and Art" post.

I am in no way inspired by this "industrial" way of working and find it extremely sad that tourist can go for so much crap.

But, it my hope that with artists like you, Rangi Kipa, Brian Flintoff, Hepi Maxwell... museum like Te Papa, and school like Te Wānanga Whakairo Rākau, and forum like this one, this kind of industrial pine crap will not last...

I did not think about explaining why I was posting this video as I thought it was so obvious...;)

Hope I did not shocked you...lol


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while i agree that its a shame about the use of historical items to sell as tourist its still art even if its mass produced. the guy who was doing the detail work was a master carver all his line and cuts were even and right. and honestly the only difference between what he does and i do is he uses a machine to rought it out to the correct shape then he does all the detail work and sanding and clear coat. but i use a bandsaw to shape my wood to save time in roughting it out from scratch. the guy in the video has to make a living and if he can do that while doing somehting he injoys good for him. as far as im concerned people like you and me who are doing one off art work are the real culture we are driving the artwork forward he is is just spreading it.


ill leave it with one last thought is print making a art even though you are mass producing pictures


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If I may, my thoughts behind this video were not about art, but rather about the respect of a culture, a tradition, therefore people.

I don't judge the carving ability of the guy (even if he is working with pine) , what I do find shocking is to do so much crap and to sell it a genuine Maori Taonga. And I doubt, he is spreading, anything other than crap.

You are talking about making a living, there is in New-Zealand many carvers who are trying to make a living as well but still, their respect for tradition will lead them to strive rather than being untrue. Let's not forget that money is not the aim here. ;)

As far as I'm concern, I would merely call myself a student instead of an artist and I'm not driving anything. For me carving (and in this case into Maori style) just happen to be something I enjoy, also because I like the Maori tradition (at least the small amount I know, lik I said I'm a student)

Print making...if you are talking about woodcut, engraving, etching....then you are talking about art

BUT, if you are talking about Warhol kind of crap then....I guess you understand where I stand.

I find funny how this warhol thing keeps coming back when people are debating art, in the end, he already had is 15min glory so time to move on.

As always, this is my personal opinion, and I do understand that everyone is and think different.

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i have been on both sides of this problem. i have made one off art work furniture and i have made mass produced parts for furniture. and while i agree that in a sense he is raping the culture i dont blame him for doing it or look down on him for it. i would rather see him making his own artwork but there just is not a real market for that. (that a discussion for another time because its such a huge problem with no real solution) for him it is about money his aim is to feed his family and himself. the bottom line for a busness is to keep the doors open if they cant do that then he loses everything. when i was making one off furniture i was forced to sell my stuff for reduced prices for example i built a dinning room table and it was worth 5-7 grand but i had to sell it for 1000 to pay for my electricity bill. it didnt matter that it took me 5 months or that it was made our of top quality lumber no one was willing to pay that because they could go across the street and buy a table for 1000 at walmart even though they knew it would fall apart in a year a two rather then in generations. but when i had a job turning table legs for a company who made mass produced table's i made a profit for the first time in 2 years. while it was soul numbing to stand there and batch out the same leg based off of a 18th century table i still did it so i could eat at the end of the day. If there was a market for artwork then he would be doing that but he found a steady suppler of work where he makes mass produced iteams that he sells to a company. i would be doing the same thing because as much as i love my heritage and i love the history of my family my first priority is to my responsibilites of my family. ill never make a real living at carving i have to depend on my day job to put a roof over my head and a meal in my belly. but if i could be carving right now even if it was something that means nothing to me i would because at least im doing something that is part of what i love. if i was given the option or working a day job or making my own artwork i would do my artwork everyday but instead i am grinding out hour after hour to pay my morgage.


as for worhol i agree its lack luster and disapointing but its still considered art the art instatue in chicago has couple of his prints hanging up and people go to every day of the year to see it. i would never hang it on my wall because i prefer art work from real people that i have met rather then a man i dont know plus the way his prints are made are crap. there is no real skill in the making of it the only skill is in the subject matter and artwork itself. because it is unique and at the time no one else even thought of doing anything similar. many artist like ansel andams and warhol became famous and quite rich from there work even though many people think their work is not realy art. and yet they are famous where as many of there peers at the time unless you are art historian no one would recognise. so it comes down to is it art because artist think it is or because the general populating think it is.

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