Ray’s Mistake



Ray’s Mistake is largely considered one of Shag’s early all-time classics. Before Supersonic Swingers, before Dial H for Hipster, and before his 1998 solo exhibit debut Anatomy of a Swinger, there were a handful of paintings that were generating tremendous interest.

In 1995 and 1996, there were several paintings Shag had created that truly stood out with a unique look and style that no one else could capture the way Shag had so brilliantly done, which included Three Drummers, Tiki Bowl, Three Musicians, Wives with Knives and Ray’s Mistake. These paintings, among others, began to create a following that ultimately created a phenomenon of more than a decade of 40+ international sold out solo exhibits.

Ray’s Mistake truly embodies nearly every element of what Shag historically has been known for: A portrayal of tiki culture and vice consumption, through an exceptional use of color, executed in a crisp, sharp 50’s and 60’s illustration style. The painting is of master mixologist Ray Buhen, who was the original owner of the famous Los Angeles tiki bar landmark, the Tiki Ti. Still open today, the bar serves a unique and popular drink called “Ray’s Mistake,” which get’s its name from the literal interpretation. Ray was making another popular Tiki Ti drink, an Anting, which he mixed up incorrectly, and his customer preferred the “mistake” over what had been ordered. It took Ray a few weeks to replicate the mistake again, but once he did, “Ray’s Mistake” quickly took the lead as the most requested drink at the landmark bar.


One Response to “Ray’s Mistake”

  1. Annie Adjchavanich Says:

    This original is available:

    Comment below from SHAG:

    The painting “Ray’s Mistake” is probably the 6th or 7th painting I did. It was done for the Tiki Group Show at La Luz de Jesus in 1996. “Ray’s Mistake” refers to both the late owner of the Tiki Ti, and his most famous cocktail, also called “Ray’s Mistake.” I framed the piece myself, using gold bamboo moulding which I painted and weathered to look more like bamboo. I notice it has the original tag and duct tape I used to hold it in the frame.

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