|Portrait of my Youth 12" x 9" March 15, 2002|
After his discharge from the Coast Guard in 1974, Marlett became obsessed with Tahiti. Fueled by old South Pacific movies and the adventures of Gauguin, Marlett moved to Tahiti to do his artwork. For the next 10 years Marlett devoted most of his time studying the Tahitian language, music, and dance. All his painting subject matter were of Tahitian landscapes which he displayed at different shows, the largest of these shows was the one held at the Los Angeles Pacific Design Center in 1976. Surfing was still an important part of Marlett's life, but by 1978, painting became his priority and after riding a wave in Mahina, he gave his surfboard to one of his Tahitian friends and returned to his easel. Marlett eventually lost interest in Tahiti and by 1985 he was no longer painting Tahitian genre and playing Tahitian music. The piece Portrait of my Youth illustrates Marlett's interests during his Tahitian period as a positive, creative time when he was fascinated with a culture very different from his own.
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