Visitors to Hawaii seem to love Robert Wyland’s work. He’s the marine artist and entrepreneur whose paintings and prints are selling like crazy. Local residents – especially the “fine artists” who capture Hawaii’s essence and beauty – don’t seem to love him as much. In the past few years he has seemed a little manic with all the projects he has going. It’s the “entrepreneur” part of his work they resent. His self-themed Waikiki hotel opened recently. He keeps a penthouse office and apartment there. Then last week he called a news conference that was sort of all over the place. He barely touched on his one hundredth – and final – “Whaling Wall” mural, which will feature 45-by-12-foot canvasses painted by children, each representing aquatic life in their homelands. Out of almost nowhere he announced his plan to take over the historic Coco Palms property on Kauai and develop it. He said he wants to create a Hawaii license plate to help raise money to preserve the Turtle Bay area on Oahu at the same time he is quibbiling with the California Coastal Commission over the use of a fundraising plate he designed for them. On July 22nd, he will unveil in China the first of 100 life-size sculptures of sea life he will create.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Jul 6, 2008