Sofia Minson Paints Tiki Taane's Portrait on 40ft Shipping Container

In February 2014 I was commissioned to paint a portrait of musician Tiki Taane on a 40ft shipping container on Queens Wharf on Auckland's downtown waterfront.

Click here to watch the timelapse video.

Photo courtesy of Brendan Kitto Photography

Photo courtesy of Brendan Kitto Photography

It took me 6 days with house paints and brushes.

The shipping container is called an Art Box and every six weeks it receives a new lick of white paint and becomes a fresh canvas for a new artist.

Coming from an oil painting background I enjoyed the new challenge of using acrylics on the vertically corrugated container surface and had to adopt new vertical dry brushing and wet dripping techniques.

The other side of the container by Erika Pearce

The other side of the container was painted by Erica Pearce, an Auckland artist making waves with her bold, colourful murals filling the walls of the new Mexicali Fresh restaurants.

The interior of the "Tiki Box" is also open for the public to view videos and recordings by Taane.

Click here to watch the timelapse video created by the genius Gareth Moon and postproduction PK Studios. Special thanks to Ella and Patric Rose who organised the Art Box, Queen's Wharf and Tiki Taane!

Photographers Brendan Kitto from www.Route52.co.nz and Rabie from www.RabiePhotography.co.nz have recorded the process and final piece:

Sofia on Day 1

Erika Pearce on Day 1:


Photo courtesy of Brendan Kitto Photography


Photo courtesy of Brendan Kitto Photography


Photo courtesy of Brendan Kitto Photography

Photo courtesy of Rabie Photography

Minson's 2011 black and white oil portrait of Tiki Taane with full-face moko appears on his new acoustic album "With Strings Attached".

The work is part of an ongoing series of contemporary Maori portraits, in which Sofia shines a light on creative and inspiring Maori people who are helping to evolve today's culture through their art or roles society.

This oil portrait of Tiki with painted face moko brings clearly to view the connection he forges between himself and his whakapapa.

Tiki and Sofia came to know each other because they were "in the same issue of Mana Magazine a few years ago" explains Sofia.  "Tiki emailed me to say that he liked my art and that we should think of a way to collaborate together in the future, perhaps through album artwork or merchandise for his music. I actually think of this portrait as a collaboration because the painting is so full of Tiki's story and his presence, which comes through his Ta Moko and the intensity of his eyes."

Minson's mixed Maori (Ngati Porou), Swedish, English and Irish ancestry has sparked her interest in how we relate to the culture of our ancestors in a contemporary world. Taane has worn his moko previously as artwork: inspired by C.F. Goldie portraits, he presents himself with full facial moko on the cover of his Past, Present, Future album.

In this painting he proudly wears his moko, an outward sign of his inner growth and resilience.

Posted by artist Sofia Minson from NewZealandArtwork.com
New Zealand Maori portrait and landscape oil paintings


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