Tiki Tom's outsider art comes inside
by Jan Engoren, SunSentinel
Tom Bazinet, aka Tiki Tom, will showcase his artwork made from objects he found while beachcombing will be on display at the ActivistArtistA Gallery in Boynton Beach starting Friday. (submitted photo, FPG / November 5, 2013)
422 West Industrial Ave.
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426
Friday, November 8, 2013 | 7 PM
November 6, 2013
Outsider art comes inside with the opening of Tom Bazinet's "One Man's Trash: The Work of Tiki Tom" at 7 p.m. Friday at Rolando Chang Barrero's ActivistArtistA Gallery in the Boynton Beach Arts District.
On display through Dec. 20, Bazinet, 53, transforms the gallery into an eco-conscience environment showcasing found objects of old hubcaps, coconuts, broken dolls, used toothbrushes, combs and plastic waste from years of beachcombing.
The Florida native and tree cutter known as Tiki Tom has been beachcombing for more than 40 years, originally at Phipps Ocean Park Beach in Lake Worth, until parking rates increased. Bazinet now focuses on cleaning up Boynton Beach.
"Boynton Beach has been good to me," he said. "I started with a 5-gallon bucket," he said, and was soon bringing a 30-gallon bin and filling it up with debris every time – old ship ropes, plastic lids, lighters, toothbrushes and old buoys.
He sports a gold earring, a found object from beachcombing 20 years ago that he has worn ever since.
Faces of the sun created from old hubcaps adorn his purple van and his profession as a tree cutter allows him to utilize his raw materials for ornamental tikis made from recycled materials, 10 of which were commissioned as an island of tikis by the city of Boynton Beachfor the Mangrove Walk on Northeast Fourth Avenue across from St. Mark Catholic Church.
Debby Coles-Dobay, the city's public art administrator who commissioned Bazinet's installation for the city, said, "Tiki Tom transforms his passion for the environment into his art."
"He is dedicated to collecting trash from the waterways and beaches, and using it to perfect his techniques. He creates whimsical sculptural characters that engage the community to care for the environment," she said.
Many of his sculptures use mannequins, sea grass and shells with plants growing out of them to create living sculptures. He creates mosaics from found colored beach glass.
The self-described eccentric, with his long hair, earing and tattoos, said, "I'm grateful to Boynton Beach for supporting the arts district. It's becoming an interesting place and I give the city credit for that."
Barrero said, "Tiki Tom makes cleaning up the beach and creating art a synchronism. He transforms the profane to the sublime, bringing his outsider art indoors to create an environment for contemplation, introspection and marvel. "