Polynesian pop reaches a new level this weekend as a new collection of tikis is rolled out at Home Depot. Garden stores regularly stocked tikis in their 1960s heyday, but quality tikis at an affordable price are now hard to find. This collection includes four 4-foot figures ($100), several 10-inch planters ($30) and a complete bamboo bar ($199) that breaks down to fit in the trunk of your car. Los Angeles artist Danny “Tiki Diablo” Gallardo carved the pieces with inspiration from the Maori and the Marquesans as well as their midcentury interpreters.
The owners of North Hollywood’s Tonga Hut recently hired Gallardo to create a second hut in Palm Springs. “As one of the first to pick up the chisel and resurrect the forgotten art form of sculpting tikis, Daniel “Tiki Diablo” Gallardo has been on the forefront of the tiki revival,” says tiki expert Sven Kirsten. “His work is equally rooted in ancient tradition as it is in modern stylization.”
Gallardo worked with Home Depot and Plant Source to come up with long-lasting pieces to complement their summer selection of tropical plants in stores west of the Mississippi. The tikis are made of a mixture of fiberglass and adobe clay that is lighter than concrete and harder to chip. Your grandchildren are going to be digging these out of the backyard in 40 years to build their own tiki bars.