Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Heineken offers $20k award for winning Honolulu 'Cities' idea

By
June 2nd, 2016



COURTESY LEO VILLAREAL Artist Leo Villareal uses a laptop computer to control "The Bay Lights," his LED light installation on San Francisco's Bay Bridge.

COURTESY LEO VILLAREAL

Artist Leo Villareal uses a laptop computer to control "The Bay Lights," his LED light installation on San Francisco's Bay Bridge.

If pop-up art installations and mini-parks built over public parking spaces in urban Honolulu inspire you to brainstorm even bigger and better creative ideas to benefit our community, Heineken and crowdfunding website Indiegogo want to hear from you.

Honolulu is one of five U.S. cities selected to participate in Heineken’s Cities Project this year, giving local residents the opportunity to apply for a $20,000 cash award and heavily promoted campaign on Indiegogo.

The Cities Project supports “innovative urban projects” in an attempt to “make great cities even greater,” like artist James Murphy’s "Subway Symphony" exhibit in New York City, which replaced normal subway turnstile sounds with melodic interludes. Heineken also sponsored "The Bay Lights" by artist Leo Villareal, who added thousands of LED lights to San Francisco’s Bay Bridge to drastically alter its profile after dark.

Heineken will launch its 2016 Cities Project by partnering with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to build support for the restoration of the Miami Marine Stadium.

“We’re looking forward to turning this cultural landmark into a place where Miami’s can celebrate the best the city has to offer,” said Heineken USA senior vice president of marketing Ralph Rijks. “We also hope that this great project inspires people elsewhere to submit their great ideas for improving their cities.”

Now through June 30, short video submissions will be accepted via Facebook for projects in Honolulu, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and New York. Winners will be selected by a four-member panel of industry leaders in design, architecture, the arts and urban culture that includes National Trust for Historic Preservation president and CEO Stephanie Meeks, award-winning New York chef and author Marcus Samuelsson, award-winning Los Angeles architect Dan Brunn and Honolulu Biennial Foundation co-founder Kóan Jeff Baysa.

Ideas for Cities Project campaigns can focus on art, music, architecture or anything else that “can make a major impact on culture or the overall enjoyment” of Honolulu. Visit facebook.com/heinekenusa for more information about the initiative.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Zak Noyle's 'Eddie' images take center stage in Waikiki

By
May 17th, 2016



COURTESY ZAK NOYLE Clyde Aikau, younger brother of Eddie Aikau, was one of the competitors in this year's Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau.

COURTESY ZAK NOYLE

Clyde Aikau, younger brother of Eddie Aikau, was one of the competitors in this year's Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau.

In order to capture the images showcased in a new exhibit of photographs at T Galleria by DFS Hawaii, local photographer Zak Noyle spent a full eight hours in the ocean at Waimea Bay.

And it wasn’t just another typical day in the bay — Noyle was in the water on Feb. 25 as the official photographer for the Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, a surfing competition that was held for only the 10th time since 1985. The contest only takes place when waves are consistently clean and around 40 feet during daylight hours for at least six to eight hours. Noyle was also the only photographer allowed in Waimea Bay to shoot the contest the last time it ran in 2009.

Some of Noyle’s favorite photos from that day are on display in Waikiki through August, with prints available for sale and the proceeds donated to the Eddie Aikau Foundation to help perpetuate Aikau’s legacy. Noyle and some of the surfers who were in the water that day — including Eddie’s younger brother, Clyde Aikau — also attended an opening reception on May 7 to sign autographs and meet-and-greet with fans.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2016Noyle, right, and Clyde Aikau at the opening reception for Noyle's photography exhibit in February at DFS Hawaii.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2016

Noyle, right, and Clyde Aikau at the opening reception for Noyle's photography exhibit in February at DFS Hawaii.

In addition to the photos, the Waikiki exhibit includes equipment he used in the ocean that day, including a Canon 70D camera and 24-105 lens, SPL water housing and custom fins. Koa Rothman provided the surfboard he used as the contest’s youngest participant, and one of the Aqua Lung inflatable ocean safety vests that debuted this year will be on display as well.

Along with shooting the Eddie, the 30-year-old also works for Surfer magazine as a staff photographer and was one of 162 people selected to take part in a recent Apple iPhone advertising campaign, which plastered spectacular pictures he shot at Makapu’u and Queens beaches on super-sized billboards around the world.

Noyle spoke with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser last week before jetting off to Nicaragua to photograph more surfing action.

QUESTION: How often are you in Hawaii these days?

ANSWER: At least 2 to 3 weeks every month. I’m constantly on the go for the rest of the summer. It’s a lot of fun.

web1__Makua-Rothman-shown-competing-in-the-2016-Quiksilver-Eddie-Aikau-Invitational-will-meet-the-public-at-Saturday-s-event.-CR-Zak-Noyle
‘THE QUICKSILVER IN MEMORY OF EDDIE AIKAU’
Featuring photographs by Zak Noyle
» Where: T Galleria by DFS Hawaii, 330 Royal Hawaiian Ave.
» When: Through Aug. 31
» Cost: Free
» Info: (808) 931-2700 or dfs.com/en/tgalleria-hawaii

Q: You turned 30 this year. What was your birthday like?

A: I wanted to be somewhere cool. I kind of just put it out to the universe and we ended up going to Indonesia. We ended up scoring amazing waves. That was a really great way to bring in 30.

Q: How does this exhibit compare to others you’ve done?

A: It was such a historic and crazy day. To have it in a viewing place where it is now, it’s on the world stage. To be the one who was in the water shooting it all day, it was such a special thing for me.

Q: Did you know you were going to be in the water for eight hours straight?

A: Yes and no. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I knew I didn’t want to get out of the water. The fact that it hasn’t happened in seven years, why would I want to miss one wave? You could potentially miss the best wave of the entire day. Why even tempt that?

I knew I could go for eight hours. I was going to man up, I kept telling myself. Why wouldn’t I want to be in the water that entire time?

Q: How did you prepare yourself for this year’s Eddie?

A: I had a big three weeks before that. I was in Micronesia (and) ended up going to Japan to snowboard. Every day I’d be monitoring it constantly, but I only ended up staying three days.

I got back (to Hawaii) the night before. I was pretty exhausted. The whole day before, I just hydrated heavily. I just knew it was going to be a long day.

Q: What did it mean to you being the only photographer in the water that day?

A: I don’t think I got the jitters. It’s Waimea Bay. I was diving under waves that had 60-foot faces. No matter what, it’s scary. It was just incredible I was able to do it again.

It’s more about what it all stands for. To me, that’s what makes it more chicken skin.

In the morning, everyone was real focused. And then in the afternoon everyone had loosened up. The whole vibe changed. Everyone was there to honor Eddie more than anything. Obviously you’d love to win the contest, but just being there for Eddie.

Q: Is shooting in the water at a big wave contest something other photographers can aspire to?

A: I think there are some things you can’t teach. Being in waves like that, I was swimming, but not only that. I’m trying to make sure my exposure is correct, my composition.

It’s not something you can just pick up. You kind of got it or you don’t. And that’s not being rude — not everyone can do this. It’s one thing to just swim out and it’s another to be able to use a camera, but are you going to be comfortable enough to compose a shot.

Maybe in the shore break it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, but when you have to swim and negotiate waves, it’s a whole other world.

Q: How has the photo landscape changed since you started taking pictures?

A: With more and more people wanting to do surf photography, it’s made me push in a direction of expanding it and getting more creative. I’m going to new places I’ve never been, so I’m super excited. There’s always new possibilities to go and create.

Q: At this point in your career, what does it mean to be able to regularly spend time in Hawaii?

A: It’s home and I feel that it recharges and refreshes me. I look forward to coming back to Sandy’s. It’s where I come to reset myself before heading out again.

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Party in silence at ARTafterDARK

By
February 24th, 2016



ASSOCIATED PRESSParticipants in a silent disco wear headsets at a railway station in Paris during the 14th edition of "Nuit Blanche," or "Sleepless Night," last October.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Participants in a silent disco wear headsets at a railway station in Paris during the 14th edition of "Nuit Blanche," or "Sleepless Night," last October.


The Honolulu Museum of Art wraps up Black History Month on Friday with a party that promises to be equal parts funky and freaky.

ARTafterDARK’s theme this month is “Afrofuture,” a nod to the cultural aesthetic that has blossomed over the last 25 years and blends historical African elements with sci-fi and steampunk influences. The party will feature an art projection by Afrofuture artist Ed Hemphill; a screening of John Akomfrah’s Afrofuture film “The Last Angel of History” is also planned.

The freaky part? At some point in the evening you’ll find 500 people in a courtyard at the museum gyrating in silence.

No, I’m not predicting a mass mental breakdown — minds may melt during “Afrofuture,” but it will be thanks to music being pumped through wireless headphones to create what the museum is calling the first large-scale silent disco in Honolulu.

“Apparently there have been weddings and stuff,” explained Honolulu Museum of Art communications director Lesa Griffith. “We’re saying it’s the first large public one.”

ASSOCIATED PRESSA silent disco turned a Paris railway station into a giant nightclub last year.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A silent disco turned a Paris railway station into a giant nightclub last year.

Griffith said HMA deputy director Hathaway Jakobsen was among the staff who first floated the idea of hosting a silent disco about a year ago, but it was ARTafterDARK volunteer advisory board member Eddie Quan and special events associate Wainani Paikai who helped make it a reality. The museum is working with New York-based Sound Off Experience to bring the silent disco concept to Honolulu this week.

The first 500 people who show up on Friday will receive a wireless headset with access to not just one, but three different channels of music. DJs Maynard G, Davey Shindig, Sejika and count weevil will be represented by different colors while they spin, with headsets lighting up with the respective color as guests choose their favorite playlist.

“There’s a competition aspect for the DJs,” Griffith said. “They’ll be able to see who is the most popular.”

ARTafterDARK: “Afrofuture” goes from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St. Admission is $25 (includes one year HMA membership); free for HMA members. Call (808) 532-8700 or visit artafterdark.org.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Live art, music headline POW! WOW! Hawaii finale

By
February 17th, 2016



JOHNNY WILSON / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISERThe Green headline Stranded in Paradise, the finale event for POW! WOW! Hawaii 2016, at Makers and Tasters on Saturday.

JOHNNY WILSON / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

The Green headline Stranded in Paradise, the finale event for POW! WOW! Hawaii 2016, at Makers and Tasters on Saturday.

POW! WOW! Hawaii 2016 went out with a bang last weekend, as thousands of people showed up at Makers and Tasters in Kakaako for the annual art and music event’s finale concert. Local favorites The Green headlined the show and were joined by DJ Babu and Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples, Likkle Mai and local artists Eli Mac and Taimane Gardner.

DJ Cipha Sounds hosted the night, which also included a performance by students in the POW! WOW! School of Music. Food trucks, a breakdancing contest and art battle also took place. POW! WOW! sponsor Hawaiian Airlines had a VIP area set up at Makers and Tasters to provide guests with comfortable seating, complimentary snacks and drinks, and charging stations for mobile devices.

But the best part about the Black Book VIP Lounge was the up-close-and-personal vantage point for a live art installation by Honolulu-based artist Kamea Hadar and Japanese husband and wife duo Hitotzuki (aka Kami and Sasu Yoshida).

COURTESY HAWAIIAN AIRLINESKamea Hadar works on painting the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle.

COURTESY HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

Kamea Hadar works on painting the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle.

Hadar laid the foundation for the installation on the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle on Feb. 6 during the monthly Honolulu Night Market event at Makers and Tasters, painting a Hawaiian couple exchanging ha, or breath of life. Hitotzuki took over on Saturday to add blue and white tones reflective of Hawaii’s natural landscape.

COURTESY HAWAIIAN AIRLINESSasu Yoshida adds his personal touch to the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle during Stranded in Paradise on Saturday.

COURTESY HAWAIIAN AIRLINES

Sasu Yoshida adds his personal touch to the side of a Hawaiian Airlines service vehicle during Stranded in Paradise on Saturday.

According to a Hawaiian Airlines representative, the artists were inspired by a “strong sense of selfless service” found in both Hawaiian and Japanese culture.

See more photos from Stranded in Paradise via Honolulu Pulse.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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POW! WOW! Hawaii returns

By
February 6th, 2015



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014The streets of Kakaako and beyond will be crawling with artists from around the world as POW! WOW! Hawaii returns for its sixth year in Hawaii.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014

The streets of Kakaako and beyond will be crawling with artists from around the world as POW! WOW! Hawaii returns for its sixth year in Hawaii.

The sixth edition of POW! WOW! Hawaii is underway this week, with artists from around the world converging upon Honolulu to transform blank walls into street art masterpieces along with a variety of art and music programming — and parties.

Co-founders Kamea Hadar and Jasper Wong officially opened the festival on Jan. 28 at the Modern Honolulu with a POW! WOW! edition of the hotel’s Study Hall lecture series. While the actual painting most people associate with POW! WOW! doesn’t start until Monday, Hadar explained how they learned it was necessary to extend the festival from one to two weeks in length.

“The artists would show up, and some of them would go straight from the airport and start painting,” he said. “They would be from Europe or South Africa and totally jet-lagged, but they would be out there painting. So we extended it to two weeks. The first week is about getting over the jet-lag and experiencing the culture in Hawaii.

“If we take them straight into the heart of Honolulu into this industrial area and they don’t get to decompress, they just try to get the painting done so they can go to the beach. This way, we let them relax for a few days, go to the beach … and get their base tan in.”

It also means POW! WOW! Hawaii includes a couple of pretty big parties before the hard work starts next week. The Lei-Over, a Hawaii version of the popular Los Angeles-based Do-Over party hosted by DJs Haycock and Strong, goes down Saturday at Buho Cantina in Waikiki starting at 6 p.m.

And on Sunday, the popular Grey Goose Dayclub partners with Purps for a POW! WOW! edition from noon to 6 p.m. at the Modern Honolulu.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014

Here’s a rundown of additional POW! WOW! Hawaii events:

» “Exploring the New Contemporary Art Movement” Opening Reception: POW! WOW! Hawaii exhibition curated by Andrew Hosner (Thinkspace Gallery), 6-10 p.m. Saturday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 111 Victoria St. Free.

» 1xRun Print Exhibit: 6-10 p.m. Tuesday at Fresh Cafe Kakaako, 831 Queen St. Free.

» Jeff Staple: New York designer talks with visiting artists; followed by a panel discussion, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday (Kevin Lyons) and Thursday (James Jean) at Kakaako Agora, 441 Cooke St. Free.

» PM Tenore: Founder/president of RVCA curates POW! WOW! Hawaii exhibition, 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Modern Honolulu, Sun Suite. Free. Afterparty from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. at Addiciton Nightclub. Cover: $10-$200.

» All That Matters: ‘Zine workshop, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 14 at Fresh Cafe Kakaako. Free; all ages. (808) 351-9812, http://allthatmattershnl.com

» POW! WOW! Finale Block Party: Presented by Honolulu Night Market, 6 to 11 p.m. Feb. 14 along Cooke Street. Free.

» Secret Walls: Live art battle, 8 to 10 p.m. Feb. 14 at 327 Lana Lane. Free.

» Deltron 3030: Alternative hip-hop supergroup with Del The Funky Homosapien, DJ Kid Koala, and Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, with Mangchi Hammer, 8 p.m. Feb. 17 at The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd. Tickets: $30. (855) 235-2667, http://flavorus.com. 18+

For those who can’t make it — or don’t even live in Hawaii — online art gallery 1xRun is again offering the artwork of featured POW! WOW! Hawaii artists for sale. A number of the pieces on display at Tuesday’s Fresh Cafe exhibition will be available for purchase via the website.

“The reason we do a print exhibition and an original, on-canvas exhibition is because we try to … help build a collector base in Hawaii,” Wong said. “Certain people can afford original paintings, but then younger people might not be able to afford that, so they can pick up prints. We try to cover that whole spectrum so people are part of the art world, collecting art and also building the art industry in Hawaii.”

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Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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POW! WOW! art available online

By
February 12th, 2014



Now that POW! WOW! Hawaii 2014 is underway, the streets of Kakaako are buzzing with activity as invited artists have begun their work and fans congregate to watch all the action.

Hawaii-based artist Kamea Hadar's limited edition run of "Liar" is sold out, but a number of other works are available via Detroit art retailer 1xRUN's website. (Courtesy photo)

Hawaii-based artist Kamea Hadar's limited edition run of "Liar" is sold out, but a number of other works are available via Detroit art retailer 1xRUN's website. (Courtesy photo)

Along with the street art, POW! WOW! Hawaii organizers have opened a pair of pop-up shops to service those who visit the artists at work and want something to take home with them to commemorate the experience. The shops are located at Fresh Cafe, 831 Queen Street, and Lana Lane Studios, 327 Lana Lane, and both will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday.

But what if you don’t live in Hawaii, or want something a little more exclusive than the already limited-edition products available in the pop-up shops? Another option is Detroit-based art retailer 1xRUN ("One Time Run"), which currently offers a number of exclusive pieces from featured POW! WOW! Hawaii artists online.

According to its website, 1xRUN focuses on “bringing limited-edition, time-released artwork to collectors” and was launched after “years and years of developing trusted relationships with our favorite artists, gallerists and curators.”

More than 40 different prints will be available for purchase between Feb. 3 and Tuesday, with pieces released on a staggered schedule. Some, like Hawaii-based artist Kamea Hadar’s “Liar” and Honolulu-born artist Ekundayo’s “Awake,” sold out their 40-print runs shortly after being put on sale.

Artists with artwork still available for purchase or yet to be released online include:

"Sip, Surf, Stoked" by CKaweeks is among the artwork by featured POW! WOW! Hawaii 2014 artists available for purchase online. (Courtesy photo)

"Sip, Surf, Stoked" by CKaweeks is among the artwork by featured POW! WOW! Hawaii 2014 artists available for purchase online. (Courtesy photo)

» Glenn Barr

» BASK

» CKaweekS

» Cyrcle

» Aaron De La Cruz

» Defer

» Tristan Eaton

» Ron English

» Estria

» Gaia

» Gage Hamilton

» Insa

» Inti

» Spencer Keeton

» Dave Kinsey

» Madsteez & Roids

» Beak McFlaps

» Meleanna Meyer

» Aidan Monahan

» Brendan Monroe

» Meggs

» Carl F.K. Pao

» Brook Parker

» Mimi Pond

» Prime

» Pursue

» Reka

» Hanna Stouffer

» Tatiana Suarez

» Wayne White

» Angry Woebots

» 123Klan

Along with the online sale, 1xRUN will be in Honolulu this week to host an exhibition at Fresh Cafe on Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. They’ll be joined by Pangea Seed, a local non-profit organization that will display prints from their archives as well as debut a new custom toy figure designed by more than 30 artists from around the world. The event is open to all ages.

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Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

RELATED POSTS:

POW! WOW! Hawaii 2014: Complete Pulse Coverage

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Call him a 'Soul Shooter'

By
July 19th, 2013



The Haleiwa Bridge at night. (Courtesy Mike Krzywonski)

The Haleiwa Bridge at night. (Courtesy Mike Krzywonski)

Photographers can be just like surfers sometimes.

There's the brash, in-your-face type, out for glory and starved for attention. Most shooters, on the other hand, are folks who love what they do and take the time to work hard and continue to improve their skills.

2013 Hale'iwa Arts Festival

» Where: Hale'iwa Beach Park

» When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21

» Cost: Free

» Info: haleiwaartsfestival.com

Saturday, July 20

» 10 a.m.: Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii

» 11 a.m.: Josh Sharp

» Noon: Jungle Rocket

» 1 p.m.: Kalei Gamiao & Friends

» 2 p.m.: Fya Tree

» 3 p.m.: Discord and Rye

» 4 p.m.: Na Wahine O ka Hula Mai ka Pu'uwai

» 5 p.m.: North Shore Ramblers

Sunday, July 21

» 10 a.m.: Johnny Helm

» 11 a.m.: Random Weirdos

» Noon: Paradise X's

» 1 p.m.: Band of The Pacific-Hawaii, Papana

» 2 p.m.: Nick Andrade

» 3 p.m.: Castle H.S. Performing Arts Center & Castle Dance Force

» 4 p.m.: Alika Bajo

But there's also the cerebral, soulful type; someone who not only respects and excels at the technical aspects of their chosen profession, but is also cognizant of the artistic side of things. Instead of chasing the money, sometimes they'd rather explore the creative possibilities available to them.

After a brief chat with North Shore-based photographer Mike Krzywonski, it appears he's that third type. Call him a Soul Shooter. He's one of approximately 130 juried visual artists scheduled to participate in the 16th annual Hale'iwa Arts Festival on Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21, at Hale'iwa Beach Park in historic Hale'iwa Town.

Krzywonski, 41, moved to Hawaii from Texas after high school, following in an older sister's footsteps and hungry to hit Oahu's famous North Shore surf lineups.

"I visited twice (before moving)," he said. "After the first visit, I pretty much knew I wanted to be here."

Photography started out as a hobby for Krzywonski in the 1990's, but he slowly began to take it more seriously, even traveling to other states in search of locations to explore his artistic abilities.

"I've been taking photos of storms and severe weather for about 13 years," he explained. "I've photographed lighting storms in Florida and Arizona, and ever since 2007 I've gone every year to the midwest to chase storms.

"The thing that appeals to me, obviously from a photography perspective, is the storms are very photogenic. The storms produce jaw-dropping storm structure. When you get some colors from the sunsets in there, it's surreal. In addition to that, I really enjoy the power. The culmination of the beauty and the power of the storms is what really does it for me. … Tornado Alley gets the most destructive tornadoes in the world."

A 2010 tornado in Colorado. (Courtesy Mike Krzywonski)

A 2010 tornado in Colorado. (Courtesy Mike Krzywonski)

In all, Krzywonski has chased storms in 17 states during his trips to the mainland. With each passing storm season, he gains valuable experience on how to get the shots he needs while maintaining a level of safety necessary to keep his family happy.

"Storm chasing is dangerous, but there are also a lot of misconceptions," he said. "People think you just drive blindly into a storm, and that's not the case. If you have the experience and the tools, you can avoid the most dangerous parts of the storm. You always want to stay one step ahead of the game."

And while getting almost too close to a dangerous storm makes for more exciting video footage, it's not necessarily the best choice for a still shooter.

"You tend to get better photos when you're at a greater distance," said Krzywonski. "If you're super close to a storm or a tornado, you don't get the full structure or view of the storm. So closer is not always better."

When he's at home in Hawaii, surf and nature photography comes easy for Krzywonski, who also enjoys taking his camera out after dark to explore Oahu.

"I like reflections on the water at night," he said. "Whether it's the city lights or moonlight … I'll experiment with sunrises and sunsets, prolonged exposures. All kinds of things."

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Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Slick comes home to celebrate

By
September 7th, 2011



It's been a while since the artist and clothing designer known as Slick has actually lived in Hawaii.

Hawaii-born artist and clothing designer Slick returns home this weekend to celebrate at SoHo Mixed Media Bar. (Courtesy Dissizit)

Still, the 1985 Aiea High School graduate feels a close connection to his home state through regular visits, and hopes the rock that raised him will support the eighth anniversary of his successful label, Dissizit.

"The thing with Hawaii right now (is) there's that push for supporting Hawaii artists and music," Slick said last week via telephone from his current residence in Los Angeles. "So I think it's important to get it out that I was born and raised in Hawaii. I'm always a local boy at heart, so hopefully people will see that and want to support me, too."

Even if you've never heard of Dissizit (or any of Slick's previous brand efforts, like Third Rail, Shaolin Worldwide or Fuct), the lineup assembled for the anniversary at SoHo Mixed Media Bar this Friday, Sept. 9, is a must-see for any self-respecting hip-hop fan. Digital Underground founding member Money B will perform, with the Dilated Peoples' Rakaa Iriescience and DJ Babu also making the trip to Honolulu. Local hip-hop will be represented on the bill by Monarx.

But the biggest name to bless this birthday party is undoubtedly Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of the legendary hip-hop trio Run DMC. Slick collaborated with him on a line of T-shirts, and the partnership quickly turned into something much bigger.

'Dissizit 8th Anniversary'

With special guests DMC, Rakaa Iriescience, DJ Babu, Money B, Scott Knoxx, Phoreyz and local openers Monarx

» Where: SoHo Mixed Media Bar, 80 S. Pauahi St.

» When: 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9

» Cost: $40 ($28 advance tickets available)

» Info: Click here for info and to purchase tickets online

» Note: DMC will participate in a meet-and-greet session at Prototype in Pearlridge at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9

"It was a trip when the whole thing went down," said Slick. "I always wanted to do a collaboration. … The Run DMC logo is so iconic. Everyone rips off that logo … but I wanted to do it legit, so I went straight to the source.

"And so, I threw a hail mary — and he was into it. We did a T-shirt, and then, when we were making our mixtape, we went and asked him … to say a shout out. But he liked the track we sent him so much, he said he'd do the whole song. And then he was like, why don't we do a video for it?"

Slick was gracious enough to answer a few more questions before our conversation ended last week. Check the Pulse tomorrow for an interview with Darryl "DMC" McDaniels.

QUESTION: Can you talk a little more about your partnership with DMC. What does it mean to be working with a living legend in the hip-hop community?

ANSWER: When I get around him, it's like little kid time. When I started b-boying, we started to breakdance on cardboard with Run DMC. This was our music, so it was a trip. We were stoked to get him to say a shout out on our mixtape.

How many times do you have to work with the king himself? So I kicked my staff into gear and we made this sick video on a shoestring budget. It looks like a million bucks. I just looked at the finished product today, and it's amazing. I still trip on the fact that it's DMC.

Q: Why is it important to you to have this anniversary party in Honolulu?

A: Hawaii is where I'm from, and I grew up with hip-hop and b-boying. I always want to come back to Hawaii, eventually. That's my goal, to move back. So anytime I can include the islands in something, I feel like it's my hometown and if I'm gonna celebrate, I want to celebrate at home. Especially when we found out DMC was on board, I thought it was important to put on a good show in Hawaii.

My family still lives there. In Aiea.

This special edition T-shirt commemorating Dissizit's 8th anniversary is available for purchase at Prototype. (Courtesy Dissizit)

Q: Would your life and career have turned out the way it did if you had made the choice to stay in Hawaii?

A: No. I had to grow as an artist. Not to say you can't grow in Hawaii, but not the way I wanted to.

The path I chose, Hawaii really wasn't the place to grow. I was moving more towards the city with my street art. But like I said, I want to eventually move back. I want to raise my family in Hawaii. Right now we're doing our thing in L.A.

Q: How long do you plan to ride things out with Dissizit? Would you attempt to launch a new brand or product if the opportunity presented itself?

A: Dissizit was the last brand I was going to do. That's how the name came about. I've been in the game for a minute. And the whole thing was, this is it. This was the last time I was going to do it. I was giving it my last crack. And it's a double meaning too, after that line in "Style Wars."

It wasn't until maybe the last four and half years or so that it began to take off. The first four years were tough. And then things started to turn around. Even with the economy and everything, we're still going. I'm really happy we're able to make it this far. But I'm pretty firm that this is it. I'm not trying to start any other brands or projects, clothing-wise. We have some possible plans to expand the Dissizit brand. We have some other channels we can expand into.

But as far as starting something totally different? Nah. If I'm gonna do anything, I'd want to get back into my art. I love just creating images and things. And when I see people wearing it, I get happy inside. The money makes it possible for us to continue to do it, so that's why I appreciate the fans' support.

My long term plan is that I want to just come back to Hawaii and focus on my art. To make that happen, though, we're going to have to take our brand to that point where it can run itself. And that's difficult because we've never sold out, and it's kept us kind of underground. I always resort back to whether or not I like something I produce. And it gets difficult at times because I'm not the demographic we sell to … but the graff thing and the music keeps me young. That graff mentality of trying to keep it hot and on the edge keeps me going.

And then the street wear (industry) is so competitive. A big problem we have is that we try and come up with the cool stuff, and then it's almost like the bigger companies watch what we do, and then if it hits, they jump on it and exploit it. Being the smaller guy, sometimes it's hard to capitalize on that hype. But we do what we do and keep plugging away.

Q: Any suggestions for Hawaii-based artists trying to make a name for themselves?

A: I don't want to give them bad advice and tell them to get off the rock, but you have to leave at some point to get out and explore and see what's out there.

I'm not saying that's the only way to succeed, but for what I did, I had to leave and find myself and figure out that I wanted to come back. Just follow your dreams as long as you can and try not to let reality slap you in the face. Everyday life and bills and things that bring you down eventually start to control your life. When we were young, we never had any of those worries or concerns. I was really into finding myself as an artist. And that's when my most interesting work happened, in the late 80s and early 90s. I didn't have the pressures of running a company.

So, I'd say chase it while you can, while you have your youth. And then align yourself into a position where you can keep doing it when you get older. I'm lucky, no matter how old I am, I can always keep creating. It's not like an athlete, where there's a window.

To the kids: stay true. It's okay to imitate different artists, but at a certain point you have to pull away and develop your own style. I'll be the first to admit, when I first started, I was jocking Futura and them hard. But you have to keep evolving. Don't get stuck.

———

Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Posted in Art, Bars & Clubs, Fashion | Comments Off on Slick comes home to celebrate

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