Having lived his early years in China, the young Vladimir Tretchikoff - Vlad for short - wandered the backstreets of Cape Town looking for a wild time. Arriving at Miss Wong's Olde-Worlde Opium Den & Sandwich Emporium, he knew he'd hit gold. Bold bongo rhythms and freaky flute trills floated stoccato-like into the South African night. Vlad entered...never to be the same. All the Asian women in the emporium had blue skin. The bongo rhythms pulsated between his ears, while his eyes took in the exotic and the unfamiliar. Tendrils from the Hyakulanga plant swayed behind the main drummer, whose hair splayed like the highest surf wave off the coast of Java. Right then and there, the artist decided he would paint cyan-skinned beauties and wilted orchids. He spun dollar signs in his head, as he imagined travelling the world, pedalling his glossy chromolithographs - his mind forever an open edition.
© BILL BLAIR 2010