Posted in: July 29, 2011
Pin-up art by Alberto Vargas (repost)
477 jpg | up to 1400*1051 | 109.71 Mb
Alberto Vargas (9 February 1896 – 30 December 1982) was a noted Peruvian painter of pin-up girls. He is often considered one of the most famous of the pin-up artists. Numerous of the original Vargas paintings have sold for tens of thousands of dollars.
Born in Arequipa, Peru, Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez moved to the United States in 1916 after studying art in Europe prior to World War I. He was the son of famous Peruvian photographer Max T. Vargas. His early career included work as an artist for the Ziegfeld Follies and for many Hollywood studios. Vargas' most famous piece of film work was that for the 1933 film The Sin of Nora Moran, which shows a near-naked Zita Johann in a pose of desperation. The poster is frequently named one of the greatest movie posters ever made. He became famous in the 1940s as the creator of iconic World War II era pin-ups for Esquire magazine known as "Vargas Girls." The nose art of many World War II aircraft was adapted from these Esquire pin-ups.
Many of Vargas' works from his period with Esquire are now held by the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, which was given those works in 1980 along with a large body of other art from the magazine.
At the December 2003 Christies auction of Playboy archives, the 1967 Vargas painting "Trick or Treat" sold for $71,600.
His work was typically a combination of watercolor and airbrush. His mastery of the airbrush is acknowledged by the fact that the highest achievement in the community of airbrush artistry is the Vargas Award, awarded annually by Airbrush Action Magazine. Despite always using figure models, his images would often portray elegantly dressed, semi-nude to nude women of idealized proportions. Vargas' artistic trait would be slender fingers and toes, with nails often painted red.
Vargas is widely regarded as one of the finest artists in his genre. He also served as a judge for the Miss Universe beauty contest in 1956–58.
Notable women painted by Vargas include Olive Thomas, Billie Burke, Nita Naldi, Marilyn Miller, Paulette Goddard and Ruth Etting.
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