The Art Of The Pin-up + Video
The American Pin-Up is a true American original art form, to tell the truth it’s a little like Jazz, an extension and extrapolation of previous schools of art given an American flair and twist that made it unique, fun and unmistakably American, but considering that all things are an extrapolation of things before them, then it’s a genuine American Art form
The time is the late 1930s, “the Radio Era” no TV, Black and White Movies and Newspapers in monochromatic type. Men wore hats and Ladies were mainly housewives or about to become housewives, very little color and very little glamour was the norm in most men’s lives, unless you were Clark Gable of course. Then there was the pin-up calendar, that swatch of glossy images that decorated every masculine hang out and gave those guy’s a full color peep into the fantasy world of “the Girl next-door” .This was the closest thing to racy you could get in small town USA and they became hugely popular, especially with impressionable young men of that era.
When the Forties came along and sent those same young men to fight in the Second World War, many would take a photograph of their “girl back home” but many also took one of those calendar swatches and kept it in their wallet next to their heart. If you were lucky enough to become one of the glamour boys of that era and Uncle Sam had given you an airplane to fight with instead of a gun, then many of these pin-up girls became the flying mascot of many a brave pilot and crew, a symbol of what was worth fighting for, a symbol of the “American Way”
Fast forward Eighty years and now most of those young men are gone, but the art form ,although it has lost its impact with those who seek titillation has moved into the realms of nostalgia art and the artists that created it have become cult figures amongst those cognoscente that now appreciate the images as expressions of an American era.
A handful of American artists would lift the pin-up calendar to its greatest heights and popularity with the fine quality of there renditions. Among those were, George Petty ,Alberto Vargas, Zoe Mozert, Rolf Armstrong, Earl Moran and to the greatest and best known of them all, the one and only, Gil Elvgren.
Gil Elvgren, born March 15, 1914 died February 29, 1980,
Gillette Elvgren, was “The” American painter of pin-up girls, later to be called “Cheesecake Art” he was a prolific and very successful of advertising and illustration and his work was in great demand in a time when Magazines and other printed matter was utilizing the new cheap printing technology that allowed them to “Go Color”
Gil Elvgren was the most important pin-up and glamour artist of the twentieth century, he established himself as the clear favorite of pin-up collectors and fans worldwide Although most of his work was created for commercial use, it has been increasingly recognized as “real” art by many private collectors, galleries and museums with of course the inevitable rocketing of the original works value on the “Art Market”
If you are interested in learning more about the work of Gil Elvgren I would highly recommend Charles G Martignette’s website where you will find a much greater detailed biography of this true American Master of Pin-Up Art.Google+