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Pin-Up Art And Culture 2013

Updated on January 1, 2013

There was a time when illustrated pin-ups graced Penthouse and Playboy on a weekly basis and Aeon Flux wasn't the only visual art that appealed to pre-pubescent boys and basically anyone with a pulse. Vargas turned pin-ups into a welcome 'escape' for the walls of men in the military and a constant reminder of the beautiful ladies they had waiting at home.

Although the social demand for this kind of art may have changed since the booming 80s, there is no question that the sensuality and mystique of 'The Pin-Up' is alive and well in the pop-culture and beauty ideals of modern-day women. Pin-up-style makeup, clothing and hairstyles are prominently seen in today's music videos and cosmetic campaigns and may have even contributed greatly to the more recent years' obsessions with false lashes and lash extensions.

George Petty and Alberto Vargas both worked as illustrators for Esquire magazine and may have been the catalysts for many of the pin-up beauty 'ideals' that exist today. It is easy to see how their artistic legacy has inspired the recent decades of artists and illustrators.

Olivia De Berardinis is a modern-day Vargas whose sensual take on the feminine form has left fans in awe since the early 80s. Her signature clean lines that smooth a path down the female curvature are heavily influenced by Vargas, yet Olivia has added a 'polish' to the lines and shadows that Vargas work did not have.

Most of her works are done in watercolor or gouache, especially for the flesh tones. She likes to 'mask' the background with frisket and her details are done with airbrush.

Several well-known celebrities have posed for Olivia's art, including Pamela Anderson, Dita Von Teese and the ladies from "The Girls Next Door," Bridget Marquardt, Kendra Wilkinson and Holly Madison. The appeal and charm of pin-up is encompassed in all of her creations and her art continues to pacify pin-up lovers' cravings as she comes out with new art books and calendars of her work.


Olivia DeBerardinis Table Book Deals

Let's Just Face It, Pin-Ups Are Sexy.

Sure, many women might be angered by the over-sexualization of the female body, but the truth is, pin-ups also idolize the beauty of the female form. In her prime, Marilyn Monroe was an ample size 16, giving the average size 14 woman a welcome break from the fashion industry's rail-thin beauty ideals.

Since the history of corsets began with broken and bruised ribs, some may argue that it this image is demeaning to women by keeping them visually subservient to their male counterpart. I would argue against this, saying that in our society, unfortunately, beauty is power. Its just the way humans are programmed and the way society subconciously (or...in some cases, consciously) behaves.

The pin-up is the ultimate fantasy. It is not truth and is not meant to be. Dressing up does not mean giving in or selling out. For some, it can mean power.


Pin-Up Poll

Do you think that pin-up art and pin-up style in the media has a negative effect on teenagers and young women's self-esteem?

See results

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