Reef fishermen use viewing boxes to scan the bottom for evidence of squid or Tako, which are commonly known as octopus. This method of fishing for Tako is occasionally still used in Hawaii, and of course in other coastal regions. The box, with opaque sides keeps the ambient light away from the glass, preventing reflections and affords a bright view of the bottom terrain where octopus might be found. The bright, warm water, gentle waves in the background and the swirls of current in the middle ground bring to mind the shallow reef areas from Wailupe to Waikiki. Here, the large size and confident execution of water, sky and figures clearly indicates a major work by the artist at the height of his powers.
Provenance: Originally painted for Castle and Cooke, thence to Randolph Sevier of Honolulu, thence to his son, Phillip Sevier, Hawaii, Purchase by Robert Easton 2004. The frame bears a silver plate attached verso, which reads "Rememberandum", dated August 1948 with the inscription To: RS with a checklist.