New Zealand 1972
Australia from 1996
Tame Iti triptych
1/3 , published state
edition of 3
Signed and dated on verso lower left in pencil, 'Regan Tamanui / HA-HA / 2010'. Titled on verso lower left in pencil, ' 'Tame iti' / Three times '. Inscribed on verso lower left in pencil, '1/3'.
printed image 73.2 (h) x 158.6 (w) cm
Acquired with the support of Calypso Mary Efkarpidis
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
© Regan Tamanui
Haha is one of Melbourne’s foremost stencil artists. A self taught oil painter, he began incorporating stencils and printmaking processes into his work until they became his sole focus. Haha’s practice has since evolved to a level of complexity in which up forty layers of stencils are employed, pushing the technical parameters of the medium to achieve the refined and highly sophisticated results seen in these two works.
Street artists are, according to Haha ‘the bushrangers of the 21st century’. His work is often grounded in political dissent or critique, yet remains comedic and sassy. Haha’s use of Ned Kelly’s head aligns his practice with the cult, antiestablishment status of the bushranger familiar to all Australians. Tama Iti, who is not well known outside his native Aotearoa, is a similarly subversive figure. A political campaigner for indigenous land rights and against racism and social inequity, Tama Iti is renowned for his shock tactics which include the frequent practice of whakapohane – the Maori act of bearing one’s buttocks in protest. By employing a vibrant palette and repeating the faces in triptych, Haha references the Pop Art works of Andy Warhol and elevates these two notorious antiheroes to the glittering heights of Warhol’s celebrities.
These works represent an important addition to the collection of Australian street stencils. Alongside examples of Haha’s earlier works already in the collection, Ned’s head triptych and TamaIti triptychexemplify the technical development of his style.