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"Old maps to me represent a quiet authority and grace, that as keepers of information and history, occupy a unique place in art. It is my intention to create beauty within this context."
- Blaise Domino
Blaise is the world's foremost historical cartographic artist. He creates historical documents by researching and interpreting history, and drawing original maps using visual vignettes. Not only does he depict historical personalities and events but also the ecological and cultural conditions of the past.
He places these maps in historical context, and with each passing day, his work becomes more valued. His collection is valued for its unique beauty and educational content as well as its investment possibilities. A signature on any of these fine art pieces further enhances their worth.
Prominent Historical Cartographic Artist Blaise Domino first came to Hawaii as a military dependent in 1960. He came to artistic prominence as a fine art student, first at Louisiana State University and then at the University of Hawaii, where he won the Grand Prize at the First All Armed Forces Art Show in 1962 with an untitled abstract expressionist oil painting. He continued his studies at San Jose State and the Sorbonne and University of Paris.
After extensive study and travel in Europe and North Africa, Blaise returned to Hawaii to pursue more commercial art, developing an aerial view style of Picture/Map for Delta Air Lines, Western Airlines, Gray Line Hawaii, the State of Hawaii and others.
Cartography, or map drawing, comes from the word "chart," a geographical map or plan used by ships officers to navigate the seas. While early charts were highly prized as essentials for exploring the vast unknown, they were often more art than science, as the monarch paying for the trip would often want his discovered lands rendered larger then they actually were to mislead the competition. Unilike these earlier maps, Blaise puts significant effort into portraying as much objective truth as possible This task was made especially difficult by varying opinions in both oral and written records.
This series of historical maps of Hawaii focuses on the time of rediscovery by Captain James Cook. The same spirit of adventure that propelled the original migrants to Hawaii was never more evident than during this time. For this reason, Blaise chose this volatile and pivotal point in the history of these two dynamic and disparate cultures.
Because of his sensitivity to the Hawaiian people and their culture, great care was taken in researching each island. Blaise attempted to balance the natural beauty of the Islands, Hawaiian culture, and important historical events in each piece.
Each map took at least a year to complete and would have taken longer if it were not for the State of Hawaii Library, The University of Hawaii, Bishop Museum, and the Hawaii Pacific Parks, their archives and key advisors.
Since these works are both educational and beautiful, cartographer's notes were created for each historical map. These notes provide a more in-depth explanation of each map's historical, cultural and ecological content. Given the limitations of space on the maps themselves, the notes serve as a supplemental guide in case the imagery fails to fully communicate that which was intended.
In San Francisco during the Psychedelic sixties, ca 1965 thru 1972, Blaise Domino produced a body of work consisting of very detailed pen and ink drawings. Read more about the development of Blaise's psychedelic artwork here.
The artist himself, Blaise Domino, wants to know what you think - should his latest endeavors into creativity be considered a new school of art? You decide! Read about Blaise's inspiration and cast your vote here.
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