Puha and Pakeha
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- Artist Bio
This artwork is a prayer that we might remember to laugh at ourselves. When I was a child the song "Puha and Pakeha" was ubiquitous for some time. It was on TV and Radio constantly and the subject of much hilarity nation wide. They were simpler days I suppose. It seemed as though Maori and Pakeha were far more accepting of such subject matter. The song played alongside such other favorites as "My old mans a Dustman" and "Rambling Rose". I borrowed much of this scary woman from some kids comic somewhere and "Maorified" her and found a couple of tasty Whites to excite her. This naughty Maori lady is all done up with blue mud on her cheeks and looking at the delicious little Pakeha treats as if she was staring through some confectionery window! The teeth tell the story that somewhere behind the fun, horror lies. This work opens up the subject of cannibalism for conversation in our country where it is a taboo subject these days because of PC attempts to spiritualise it. Preciousness about such subjects is tedious and I find the casual and hilarious attitude about it some Maori still have a relief and a delight.
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*Fine Art Print, Unlimited Edition.
Lester was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1956 and has been self supporting through his art for the last twenty years. He has painted and studied New Zealand history and Maori - European - Pacific centric artwork all of that time.
My printed works are a collection of what the last 20 years of my life has taught me…not to mention what being brought up in White living rooms has given me.
I could prattle on here about what art and where etc I have done but apart from saying that my Tapa paintings represent a bedding in for me of my status as a Pacific Islander stats about me hold little interest.
I prefer in this context some specificity as to my nature and my drivers as the race relations commentary I make is often misconstrued as either White supremacist or Maori centric.
I consider myself an outsider artist, social commentator first and my art is a vehicle for my thoughts and philosophies and aspirations for my country. My art is a conversation with myself and represents moving thought not static dogma. My prints are not numbered and I change them to reflect or emphasise my thoughts whenever I choose to.