What kind of "nose art" did you have in mind?
The images to the right are often what comes to mind, especially for descendants of the Baby Boom generation. Not a surprise with the rise in popularity of body piercings and tattoos.
The parents of the "Boomers" would quickly think of something altogether different when the subject comes up.
The "Greatest Generation" remembers art work that adorned military aircraft in World War II. Much of that art work was inspired by the great pin-up artists of the day such as George Petty, Gil Elvgreen, and Alberto Vargas.
Another kind of "Nose Art"
The Memphis Belle
Perhaps the most famous of all the pin-up artists was the man who worked at Esquire magazine then went on to fame and fortune at Playboy . He painted famous Hollywood stars and other beautiful models idealizing their proportions and enhancing their appeal. He didn't need image editing software nor urban girls.
His work inspired much of the "nose art" on bombers, including the "Memphis Belle", shown here with the original print.
- Vargas Remembered
Read my article here honoring Alberto Vargas, famous pin-up artist, illustrator, and "Playboy" artist. Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 would have been his 115th birthday.
Below are two of his more famous images. Of course, Marilyn Monroe. In this case, she's displaying two of Vargas' trademarks: long thin fingers and red fingernails.
Then comes the image that in 2003 set a record for the most paid for a Vargas print, "Trick or Treat". It brought almost $80,000 in a Christies auction of material from the Playboy archives. We cannot show it here, but if you Google it, you can find it on your own.