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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, March 15, 2004

Wave woman getting a facelift

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Travelers along Kalakaua Avenue the past few days may have noticed a subtle difference in the the Wave Waikiki's famous snorkeling-woman mural.

Pierre, an artist formerly known as Edski, is retouching the 1983 Roy Venters mural on the Wave Waikiki building to bring back some of the color dulled by a restoration, 10 years ago.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

Pierre, an artist formerly known as Edski, has been retouching the landmark facade, adding a bit more color to the mountains and lightening the marvelous blue sea in which the figure is submerged.

Pierre said a varnish coat added after the last restoration dulled some of the colors.

"I wanted to help it get back some of its original look and feel," he said.

But Pierre will leave the woman's mask untouched.

"The dull color actually makes it look a little more authentic," he said.

The mural was painted in 1983 by Roy Venters, based on an original watercolor by Rudolf Helder. (The original hangs in owner Jack Law's office.) It was restored 10 years ago by Pierre and fellow muralist Lillie James.

Pierre and Law had hoped to collaborate with James again, but couldn't find her.

Pierre is perhaps best known for painting the Japanese-style waves that used to adorn the mauka side of the Wave Waikiki building. That mural was painted over after the Outdoor Circle complained that it violated Hawai'i billboard law. It was eventually replaced by Margo Goodwill's "Waving Palms" mural.

Pierre is back in Hawai'i after several years in Las Vegas.

In addition to the Wave facade, he's working on a new mural to adorn the entrance of Hula's Bar & Lei Stand on the opposite end of Waikiki. That piece will be based on a 1915 Mid-Pacific Carnival poster that Pierre discovered in a hula book.

After that, Pierre will retouch his gargantuan mural of a shark swimming, with the Ko'olaus in the background, on the A-American Self Storage building on South Street. In keeping with his practice of hiding secret images in his work, Pierre said he'll likely add something subtle and new.

"Look closely at the mountains," he hinted.

Correction: Margo Goodwill is the artist who created the mural "Waving Palms" on the side of The Wave nightclub in Waikiki. The name of the artist and the title of the mural were incorrect in a previous version of this story.