Dietrich Varez is a printmaker-painter. His work is among the most widely-recognized of any artist in Hawaii and he is known primarily for scenes of Hawaiian mythology and of traditional Hawaiian life.

Varez’s work has published more than 225 wood- and linoleum-block prints. His work is formed by graphic interpretations of traditional Polynesian designs, and is especially rich in imagery from the Hawaiian rainforest. His recent graphic work has branched out to include more modern stories, such as that of Father Damien, known for his work in the leper colony on Molokai. His work is also widely known through books that he has illustrated, and, in some cases, written.

Varez, as a self-taught artist whose career developed outside framework of the institutional art world, maintains a strict policy of keeping prices low and distributing directly to the widest audience. This is consistent with his earliest practice of giving away prints, and only then, when demand required it, of charging nominal prices to cover his expenses. It was only after several years of a growing reputation that he decided to make his living from the sale of his work, and he has expressed in interviews a deep ambivalence toward being considered a professional artist.

"Some people have told me that until I start charging more, I'm never going to become a 'known artist.' I think that's nonsense. You either like the print or you don't, and that shouldn't have anything to do with the price. My goal is to make art -- at least my art -- available to common people. I don't give a damn about the art people; I want to get it into your mom's house and my mom's house.”

Unlike the usual practice among printmakers, he refuses to limit his editions, printing until a block is exhausted. He dates his prints according to when the print was struck, not, as is customary, when the block was carved. These individualistic practices may have limited the value of his work to collectors, but Varez has said he is committed to staying outside the artificial boundaries of art world conventions.

In 1979, writer Boone Morrison stated that “Dietrich Varez is truly an artist of and for the people.”

What was written about Dietrich Varez almost 30 years ago is still true today…..and we are not only pleased, but highly honored, to be able to offer to you the works of one of Hawaii’s most highly respected artist.