South Mountain Resort near Phoenix might
stand-in for an island paradise, depending on your
camera angle. I shot this on a business trip in 2007.
A key element of the of the story is that the Tahitian imagery Gauguin conveyed in his paintings wasn't true to reality. "It's widely accepted that artists reinterpret reality, but the trouble is that Gauguin (1848-1903) insisted that his depictions of island life were true — factual representations of a serene, sensual, primitive place. The French tourist industry was something of a co-conspirator in this; it wanted tourists to travel to the Polynesian colonies," reports Stamberg.