Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This Is Not Paul Gauguin's Tahiti

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. 
I've never been to Tahiti but I certainly thought about it this morning as I listened to Susan Stamberg's NPR feature on the Paul Gauguin "Maker of Myth" exhibit of at the National Gallery.

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.