Photo of Bosko

Film: Bosko and the Rebirth of Tiki

A documentary about Bosko's art and role in the Tiki revival. 32 min running time. Screening will be followed by a question and answer session with Bosko. General admission, seating on a first-come basis. You can also find him in our Island Marketplace on Saturday, July 6, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Movie poster for the documentary film Bosko and the Rebirth of TikiThe film follows Bosko through his childhood in Los Angeles, education at Art Center College of Design and his unsung, pioneering work as the first individual to revive the lost art of carving Tikis, sculpting Tiki ceramics, building the first proper home Tiki bar and much more.  Much of what Polynesian Pop devotees take for granted today began with Hrnjak 30 years ago in Escondido.  And even the many who know his work have not yet heard his story.
The film is directed by Kurt Mattila ("Stuntman," and Peter Gabriel's "The Veil"), produced by Rob Wilson (Oliver Stone's "The Putin Interviews" and Jim Jarmusch's "Gimme Danger"). Based on extensive interviews with Hrnjak and his wife and collaborator Truus De Groot, it contains further commentary from fellow Polynesian Pop luminaries Jeff "Beachbum" Berry and Sven Kirsten.

Q&A moderated by Sven Kirsten.


From 1963 to 1976 my family moved four times, but always in the same area: Just off of Rosemead Blvd in Southern California's San Gabriel valley. From the back seat of my parents 64 Impala, I was amazed by the nightly drive past all of the mid-century Architectural landmarks; by day, peddling my bike, it seemed quite natural to see huge Tiki Gods, waterfalls, and volcanoes in front of A-frames. But by the mid 80's, when I started buying my own Tiki mugs, I realized there was something odd about seeing the Polynesian style transplanted to Southern California. Nevertheless, my attraction to it kept growing and growing, and when Sven Kirsten explained to me in 1992 that there was a California Tiki style -- at once modern, primitive and cartoonish -- it was like an epiphany; it all made sense.

A couple of months later someone dumped a load of palm logs in a vacant lot down the road, and I took some home to carve Tiki stuff for my home bar. Two weeks later I had my first mask and pole designs (as seen in Tiki News #1). Soon after I decided I needed my own Tiki mug, so the ceramics came next; currently we're up to design #11.  I have always held the forgotten masters in the highest regard, so it was an honor when, in the late 90's, Truus and I met Mr Westenhaver, creator of the legendary Witco furniture company. It turned out we had both attended Art Center School Of Design in Pasadena, although 40 years apart. Due to his advice and support I started my  burnt-wood carving style.

General admission, seating on a first-come basis. Wristband required.