Reg Mombassa's landscapes go on display for Auckland Art Week


Kiwi artist, musician and poet Reg Mombassa has been part of the fabric of pop culture for nearly 40 years.

He's most well-known for his graphics for Australian surf-wear label Mambo, but it's his landscapes that are taking centre stage this week.

They're proudly on display at the Whitespace Art Gallery ahead of Auckland Art Week.

"It's pretty much about a lot of the landscapes that I've been doing since I was about 16," he says.

"I've always been a keen painter and drawer of the landscapes."

Around 400 of those landscapes have been compiled into a book to showcase some of his best work.

It's not hard to see just why they're so popular and why they resonate so well with Kiwis.

The Auckland-born-and-raised artist lived in Papakura for the first 17 years of his life, before packing up and crossing the ditch.

"When I started copying impressionist paintings out of art books when I was a teenager, I didn't have any conception of this," Mr Mombassa says.

His works reflect what he sees around him, every day bits of land and road - things that may not seem all that interesting to the naked eye.

But Mr Mombassa has a way of making even the smallest things look amazing.

"Some of it comes from just looking out the car window, playing in the Mentals and touring around a lot, I started doing a lot of quick drawings in the car as we travelled."

And as he drew the breathtaking coastlines and landmarks of New Zealand, there's one place he just couldn't leave out.

"There's one there of South Auckland, that's Papakura."

Mr Mombassa thinks he's probably more well-known for his graphic designs for clothing label Mambo, but it's his landscapes that he holds closest to his heart.