This was carved in Ziricote, a South American hardwood.
Redwood lends sends a soft glow to an otherwise tough character. On this piece, the eyes are intense, and the wood is as smooth as a Mai Tai.
I’m just an old tiki carver trying to stay out of the way and have a good time. I Love wood and stone and bone too and tiki a bit and tiki lovers a lot. Some people call me the Legendary BENZART , and some people call me a Master Carver.
Twenty years ago, I came to the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, being contracted to come and carve a few tiki’s. I stayed there 6 months, carving some 60 tikis for “the Island of Las Vegas” including this 13 foot California Redwood image of a New Zealand Chief with full Moko.
Recently, I gave him a bit of a facelift, working to smooth out some of the lines the desert’s dryness brought out. He’s still a larger than life after all these years.