Partners in Life and Art
How does an artist celebrate his 83rd birthday? By throwing an art show so folks can check out their new oil paintings, of course.
Hiroshi Tagami, 83, first became interested in art while drawing in Japanese school as a child. Throughout high school, he moved through drawing, photography and other forms of art. His works now command $350 to $45,000 a pop and believe or not, he’s had only six months of formal art training.
His partner in life and art, Michael Powell, also paints. Their story is a quirky tale of fate and coincidence. They first met by chance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Powell’s father knew Tagami from his work posted on the fence outside the Honolulu Zoo. At the time, Powell was only 11 years old.
Later, Tagami and Powell crossed paths again when he visited Hawaii on a business trip. He became enamored with an art piece and after inquiring about the artist, he found out it was Tagami. Their friendship grew from there. Later, Powell returned to the islands to work for Bank of Hawaii, took art lessons and slowly began to work under Tagami himself. Eventually, Tagami invited Powell to be his partner at the Kahalu’u Art Gallery and Gardens. The rest is history.