The Beauty of Pinup and Commercial Art

This is a blog about men and women as seen throughout the history of advertising and pinup art. Art has always reflected the distinct diversity and beauty of both sexes respectively. Just as there is a moon, there is a sun, a night and day, cold and hot...male and female. It is the very sustenance of Nature.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sometimes life does revolve around you

The picture above is once again, another Gil Elvgren precious work in movement and grace as it depicts the female form.

We have here a stylish, elegant young lady of high society whose dress has been untimely caught by the revolving doors behind. Not surprisingly, she expresses shock realizing the terrible, embarrassing predicament she is in having been stripped off her skirt. This accident however, sets the stage for us as the viewer to admire such beautiful legs encased in stockings which make them even more prominent and sexy. Even her adorable little pooch can´t help but look and admire his mistresses´charming beauty.

Elvgren smartly employs the color black as a sharp contrast to the yellowish background to emphasize the feminine figure and it´s Mannerist style movements. The movements are deliberately exaggerated and dramatic giving the picture a sense of constant motion. Her wide opened eyes, raised eyebrows and opened mouth give the picture tension and drama. Her outstretched arms, one holding the dog leash and the other balancing her body, give it a ballet style movement. This movement is further accentuated by the delicate positioning of her hands and tilting of her legs which emphasize the roundness of her hips. One hand is pointing down as it holds the leash while the other points up as it tries balancing her body. By her moving her left leg slightly makes her right rip grow rounder. The rounded hips always serve to remind us of the presence of the female form.

A certain sense of perspective is created by having the model stand on the triangular space created by the revolving door entrance. Despite this, the viewer is not given too much background to look at. All the focus of our attention clearly falls on the model and her struggle to keep her balance. This balancing act overall adds to the idea of the model´s vulnerable state. Despite being enticed by her attractive legs we also want to reach out and give her a helping hand.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Let's Go Skiing!

The picture above was created by Fritz Willis. The subject is skiing and there is a lot of dynamic motion going on here. At the center of attention is a beautiful female getting ready to ski. Her presence is made more prominent by the framing of her skis. This forces our eyes to pay more attention to her. Her body is tilted at an angle to her left while skiers in the background are going to the opposite direction. The slope behind our attractive skier is at the same angle of her waist, yet the hill behind the slope traverses towards the opposite angle.

This play of opposite angles, the kneeling position of the female skier, the wind blowing her hair to her left just as it blows the tree branches on her right, the ski poles making right angles with her right creating a frame within a frame, give this illustration a lot of motion.

From the look in her face, I say she's excited and can't wait to begin skiing. This is of course, subject to interpretation. We really don't know if she just finished skiing or if she is starting. The point of the illustration is not that anyway. What it shows us is a healthy, athletic, determined woman living her moment of action.

There is a reddish halo on her hair, reddish threaded decorations on her sweater, and reddish pants. The use of this color reaffirms her boldness and courage and makes a nice contrast with the white snow, thus making her more visible and prominent.