Lisa Reihana


Dandy by Lisa Reihana

Artwork Detail

'Dandy' is part of Lisa Reihana’s project Digital Marae, 2007, a suite of large-scale photographic portraits which reinterpret the carved poupou (panel) adorning and supporting the walls of a wharenui (meeting house).

'Dandy' is modelled by Victor Taurewa Biddle, activist and presenter of the Māori Television show 'Takatāpui', the world’s first Indigenous LGBTTQIA+ series. He is shown with his tā moko (tattoo) and dressed in 19th-century attire, complete with full-length riding boots and a tokotoko (carved ceremonial walking stick). This image was inspired by Biddle’s findings that takatāpui (intimate friend of the same sex) were sent by chiefs to make first contact with European arrivals in the 18th century. It was thought they might better navigate the challenging encounter because, as Reihana surmises, ‘takatāpui are mediators with their own spiritual knowledge, having insight to ways of thinking beyond male and female’. The forthright gaze and upright posture of 'Dandy' asserts a sense of power and preparedness to address the visitor on behalf of their people.

– Nathan Pōhio, Senior Curator, Māori Art, 'Romancing the Collection', 2022

Lisa Reihana
Production date
digital photograph printed on Fuji Crystal Archive resin coated paper mounted on 4mm aluminium
2000 x 1200 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, purchased with assistance from the Gallery, 2010
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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