Va-Va-Va-Vargas

This is a repost of a blog from 2011 on our sister project, Hinges of History.

The World War II-era pin-up art is quite amazing. It’s no surprise that scholars like Walt Reed have dubbed the era “the golden age” of the pin-up.  Think about it: pin-ups were everywhere, from magazines like Esquire to the noses of planes to even personal snapshots (check out our friend Maria Elena Buzek’s fascinating book Pin-Up Grrls for a discussion of that phenomena). The director’s mother – the WAVE who inspired this project – had a collection of drawings she did during the war era of women in pin-up guise. They were everywhere.

This is a recruitment poster for the WAVES and SPARs done by pin-up artist George Petty. Petty was the “establishment” when it came to pin-ups – he pretty much created the famous Esquire pin-up centerfolds. But when he left the magazine in 1940, his role was taken over by an young upstart, Antonio Vargas.  His pin-ups (dubbed “Varga Girls”) made the Petty pin-ups look tame by comparison: buxom, long legs, tiny waists – to contemporary eyes a combination of Barbie doll and Playboy centerfold.

This image came from a calendar Esquire ran during the war – which featured a WAVE-to-be. The poem alongside her reads:

I’m going to join the Navy WAVES and help the war to halt, and also show my Navy beau that I am worth my “Salt!”

Vargas also did the SPARs recruitment poster, below.

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Your Week In Pin Up Issue 22: The We’re Back to Monday Edition

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We Tried That Weekend Publishing Thing and Didn’t Really Like It.


Film Festival-a-Rama

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Cinerotic at the Dirty Show in Detroit through next weekend. Paris at Ethnografilm in April. The 1940s Ball in Boulder in June. And that’s just what we know about so far. Come see us, come see us.


She Broke Instagram

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Or something. This so far is the single most popular photo in our #iwannabeastar casting call over on Instagram. Great shot from the lovely Ria Fend. Photo by Monochrome Set Photography.

We’re doing the contest all year and a new round of contestants start this week.


In Case You Missed It

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Every day is worth celebrating the incomparable Alberto Vargas, but it was his birthday on February 9.


We’re Oregonians at Heart

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Thanks to the University of Oregon for doing a fab profile on director Kathleen Ryan and the film project. Maybe we can screen there in May or June (hint hint).


Wasn’t There Some Game With Pigskin This Past Week?

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This is the real Super Bowl for us.


In Case You Missed It, Part II

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Our Instagram first anniversary is this month and in just a year we’ve reached over 5,000 followers.

*swoon*


This GIF

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Don’t rain on my dancing parade.

*SWAK*