Page 90 - The Montecito Journal Winter Spring 2009

Page 90 - The Montecito Journal Winter Spring 2009

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The French painter Paul Gauguin escaped to this remote island – and is buried
here – after both the Tahitians and the French government became fed up with
his dissolute ways
The Most Remote
Islands in the World
T
he Marquesas are a cluster of seven islands, sort of like Ha-
waii. They’re a long way away – in the Pacific Ocean, about
halfway between Mexico and New Zealand – and
very
dif-
ficult to get to. I got interested in them because they’re so remote.
I’m a painter and went there when I was doing an article for
Forbes
magazine about Paul Gauguin in Tahiti. As you may know, Gauguin was
not a nice guy. The Tahitians got tired of his being a drunken nuisance
and debauching 14-year-old girls. The French government there fined
him $50, which was a lot of money back then, so Gauguin got out of
town.
W-a-a-y
out of town. He took off for the Marquesas, more than
1,000 miles away, and ended up on the little island of Hiva Oa, where
he died in 1903.
O
ur travel companion is a
painter whose works hang in
collections worldwide, including
the National Portrait Gallery:
Renaissance man
Barnaby
Conrad
is also a jazz pianist and
the author of 34 books, including
the bestseller
Matador
. He and his
wife,
Mary Conrad
, founded the
Santa Barbara Writers Conference.
90
winter
|
spr ing
with barnaby conrad
o
n
the
road
by Jerry Camarillo Dunn, Jr.
(photos: courtesy of South Pacific Management)