For the last week I’ve been preparing myself for a 24 hour think tank. I’ve had to clear my schedule completely as well as take care of any obligations in the way of this think tank. Alas, I’ve returned to you, my loving audience, with yet another article and this time we have a somewhat proper picture in the works. See below for more on this piece that’s coming together. As for today I want to talk about something related to sex. Yeah, it’s been a while but we’re going back to that lovely issue of sex. This time we’re looking at sex in art….again.
I’ll be honest, I LOVE drawing women. Maybe it’s the classical artist in me but I love drawing women of all shapes and sizes. It is this love for the female anatomy that makes me sure of two things, the first being my sexuality and the second being my love for pin up art. Most of the intelligent lot of you will immediately think of pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page when I say pin up art. The more intelligent crowd will say something along the lines of Gil Elvgren. While the idiots in the audience will think of those dirty Playboy bunnies with their silicone ta-ta’s and fake lips. Anyways, it was during my submersion in the think tank that I came to looking at my large book of Gil Elvgren pin up art and thinking about how pin up art has devolved from sensual and tasteful to…plain disgusting.
Now, some of you will begin to think that I’m being mean by calling the pin ups of today plain disgusting but let me ask you a question first. What is alluring about just having people’s genitalia on a large 18 by 24 poster in your face as is? Nothing! I can appreciate the skill and effort that goes into creating some of these pieces but at the same time please don’t call it a pin up! Do you know what the difference between a pin up and pornography is? Many people don’t, and I’ll admit that sometimes we wander into a grey area with the definition of pin up versus porno. I’ll tell you the difference between a pin up artwork and pornography in one word- reservation.
I’m sure this argument has also come up in many circles but the question still lingers ‘what does it mean to be reserved?’ You see, reservation in pin up art is a proper balance of risqué material with restraint. To give a crude example, I cannot qualify a picture of a person touching themselves sexually as a pin up…Yet there are people who do this and it makes me sick. In pin up art to be risqué is to decide how much implied sexuality there is in the picture. Note the word ‘implied’ in the previous sentence, this means that you don’t simply give everything away from the get go. The figure in the picture should be presented in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the model/subject. That means that you don’t just show us their genitals but you imply that the parts are there. Just a quick note for all, before anyone wants to be a smart ass, anything above the waist is fair game when it comes to a pin up.
After risqué is where restraint comes into play and there are a lot of people who need to learn this before they go calling their nude a pin up. In a pin up style artwork one generally creates a scenario that helps to set a sensual mood for the piece. Remember that the objective of a pin up is not creating sexual interest in the subject but the real objective is to make the subject seem sensual. Many artists tend to overlook this and this is where learning from a master like Elvgren has come in handy. Elvgren did not sexualize his subjects but he instead created a sensual mood to lead one into interest in the subject. The implied curve, the hand covering bare breast, just a person’s bare back is enough! A general rule for creating the sensual mood is to concentrate more on the curves and less on the amount of skin being exposed. One can achieve so much in a pin up by making use of things like fabric and curve. It’s hard to do properly but with practice and patience you can achieve so much in a pinup without exposing any more than an arm and leg.
In total, my beef with this current era of so called pin up art is that the objective is obviously to create sexual interest in the subject. Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at someone or something sexually but at the same time I miss when pin up art had more class. I wasn’t around for it but from what I’ve seen I can honestly say that it was a much better time in terms of art. I’m sure that a lot of artists would agree with me on that note. Like I said before, they lack risqué and restraint in their pin up art and overall it disgusts me to see so much sex being forced onto me when it isn’t sex that I want in my art but I want worship of the human form. Anyways people I have a song for you and you know the deal…
Keep me entertained!