The bright, exotic, and groundbreaking work of Paul Gauguin is coloring the city from inside SAM through April 29. If you haven’t been, you might consider bringing your wallet when you do.
That is—bring your wallet up to the fourth floor when you go look at the paintings. On the exhibit floor you’ll find imported kurtas (you can call them tunics if you’d like), scarves, bloom-shaped wicker tiki torches, bright sarongs, and beaded jewelry from sunny islands all over the planet.
Former Seattleite and collector David Mendoza, who uses the name David Bali for his batik-focused artwork, has been bringing back treasures from Bali for years now, and SAM curators thought his souvenirs were a good match for their current show. This only happens every few years or so; typically commerce doesn’t mix with masterworks, but SAM doesn’t see Gauguin or Mendoza as typical.
SAM’s show focuses on the way that Polynesian culture influenced the 19th-century French bohemian; Mendoza’s pop-up shop focuses on the ways that island culture has shaped his art. Click through the slideshow here to see the kinds of things that are for sale and to hear from Mendoza about life in Bali.