The kings gathering in Maui.
Oil on canvas, 80 H x 100 W cm / 31.5 H x 39.4 W in.
Created by Ofir Hirsh in 2000.

If you ever consider to be a homeless, some of Hawaii’s islands offer great value.
On my US trip in 1999, after NY, Los Angeles and San Francisco, I was left with only $200 and wanted to squeeze every drop of it. Then, in a local newspaper I found an incredibly cheap and tempting deal: $120 for a one-way stand by ticket to Maui, Hawaii. What are the chances of getting on such a flight? How can I survive on a Pacific island with just $80 and for how long?
I arrived at Maui’s airport on a beautiful afternoon, hitchhiked to the nearest town and checked in for one night in the cheapest hostel I could find. The next morning I went out hiking with a mochila and a lot of enthusiasm to discover the wonders of the island.
In the the next few weeks I went through some of the most exciting and condensed adventures of my life.
The first night outside, alone at Paia’s beach was a bit scary and wet, but the second night in the tiny cave of Red Sand Beach in Hana was so relaxed and inspiring that afterwords I felt at home in every cave, mountain and beach I came upon.
I walked a lot and also enjoyed the generous rides Maui’s hippies gave me, along with their guidance and blessings.
I was talking to God while walking and also while laying on my back at night staring at the sky. I met some exceptional people, one of them, Juan, a Mexican-American painter who reminded me my late grandfather, shared with me his spiritual legacy and his view that the only way to become a great artist is through wandering and living an adventurous lifestyle.
Eventually, I settled down in Baby Beach in Lahaina, and was honorably accepted by the local group of Kings: Brother K, a big Polynesian guy with an impressive Afro, a descendant of the Kalakaua Hawaiian royal dynasty and a brilliant Ukulele player. Steven ‘The Preacher’, the spiritual authority of the beach, a Vietnam veteran and a former Rock band guitarist who found God. Larry ‘The Millionaire’, Rob ‘The Mayor’ and a few other VIPs. We were sitting together around the fire at nights, sharing tiny bites of food and the greatest stories of our lives.

Ofir Hirsh, Red Sand Beach, Hana, Maui, Hawaii. 1999. Photo by Limor Nessa Shelemay.