PINUPS/ BEAUTY RULES
I remember quite exactly my first encounter with a pinup. I was maybe 12, down in the basement of a friend's house, when I spied reflected in a mirror situated in a back room (a kind of man cave of its day) a calendar displaying an image of a buxom blonde woman who had just emerged from a bath. The woman held a towel up to her body in a failed attempt to deflect the gaze of anyone who happened to be looking her way. The towel partially covered her breasts and, to my great regret, denied any visual access to her pubic region. But what floored me was that her bathroom was also equipped with a mirror, a full-length mirror, no less. By this double mirroring, one real, one painted, I was able to get a furtive but very complete view of the lady's naked backside! Heaven have mercy! I was blasted with a sense of guilt that was was overlaid with a peculiar physical excitement.
Calendar art of this ilk was a popular, almost sanctioned visual phenomenon of the 1950s that provided men with a not too nasty way to sexualize women. With its coy presentation, humor and limits of what was and wasn't revealed, it had a comfortable existence in the culture of the times, safely on display in basements, garages and other "masculine" venues. It did make many of our dads seem like dirty old men (some, I'm sure, actually were dirty old men). But at least these upstanding men weren't, as far as wives and children knew, watching the notorious "blue movies" or looking at the more explicit "titties mags" of the day.
Above, clockwise: From Calendar Girls: December, acrylic on paper, 2001. There is a calendar girl for each month.
Beauty Rules: Dressing Is Particularly Important, acrylic on canvas,1998.
April, craypas and acrylic, 2001.
November, acrylic on paper, 2001
Many of these paintings are sold. Those still available, unless it's a print, range in price from $1900 to $4500
Below, from left: Silly Girls, acrylic on canvas, 1998; Alice Dark, (after Balthus), acrylic over archival print, 2020; Dressing Is Particularly Important, Pencil and acrylic on paper, 1997 (study for painting above); Nervous and Fidgety Hands, acrylic on paper, 1998.