Recently a friend forwarded me a video of an art opening — the one I’ve included below — asking me if I recognized anyone. I watched the video with curiosity, and yes, I did recognize someone, seeing my friend Kala Kaiwi (who was just featured in part III of the “Evolution” series) and a number of other modified and atypical models immortalized in paint. The artwork turned out to be that of Hawaiian artist Rose Adare, who I tracked down and interviewed about her current Restraint & Revolution gallery show.
“I set out to paint nontraditional people in a traditional medium.”
I should also mention that you can find out more about Rose and her art at her website RoseAdare.com, where you can also get in touch with her about both originals and prints (which are very reasonably priced by the way, starting at $20). Her current show will be at Holualoa’s J+ Gallery until March 10, 2013.
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* Are you a modified person yourself, or more of a fan?
I don’t have any hardcore bodymods yet, though I do have a fiery tattoo on my lower back I drew while learning to fire spin in Ireland, and I have four spike piercings crowning the top of my ear. All of my piercings were done by Kala Kaiwi, our resident specialist on the Big Island of Hawaii — he’s also the model in Primal Buddha.
* How did you get into piercing and tattoos?
A lot of things drew me to bodymod. I was a San Francisco goth while studying at the Academy of Art University — another shadow in the Deathguild scene, dancing on coffins at Spike’s Vampire Bar at Burning Man! In 2005 I was in a collision with a municipal train and wound up in ten body braces. With the overall body-pain I had to escape the cold of San Francisco so I moved to Hawaii. I wound up living with the wonderful John Corbin — R.I.P., fondly remembered as Burning Man’s flaming bagpipes. He used to have a flamethrower which would set off a huge jet of fire when he wailed! His house was covered in surreal murals, and my room was a bright pink girly-girl room with a mural of Pudge the Fish (the sandwich eating fish from Lilo and Stitch). Here’s me, lying in black, in a bright pink room with Pudge the Fish. Aloha!
Years later my partner, Alex Stitt, the fire dancer in Pyro Paramour, moved into a new place with Robert Bennett, the model in the painting Ardens. I adore Robert. He’s family, and the one who painted all the murals in my old house. He’s one of the best tattoo artists on the Big Island, and unlike many tattoo artists he’s also a painter, which gives him an eye for detail and form, and his professionalism is next to known.