Obey The Impulse, Or Not

It’s hard to explain
just what this post
looked like in the
back of my mind
when I first conceived
it…..

it was something
that someone
said about the whole
experience of
‘living on the impulse’
that had
peeked,
panged and
pecked
at the
very tiny creative part
of my mind and
eventually came
to interest me as a
post topic.

As soon as I started
to write about
what I was thinking,
however —

— peculiar societal memories
of commercial products
(like chewing gum, snacks,
and soda pop) and vintage
behave-yourself propaganda
(like sexual health brochures)
kept popping up –

– naughtily intermingling –

though I’m not exactly sure
how they’re all connected,
really.

Hmmm.

I guess the subconscious
message I got early in life
was, if you’re spending
money, you should give
into the impulse to buy –

– but, if you’re just having
free fun, then you should
go do something else
more constructive, instead –
like making more money
to buy more stuff.

Still, that doesn’t seem
exactly right…..

‘Cause hardly anybody’s
grand-mother charged
grand-dad to have a
good time –
and we’re all here,
regardless.

And it’s not like anybody
with any sense could
think that eating a ‘Twinkie’
could or would constitute
the same qualitative
potential enjoyment value
as would a significant other –

– errr…. I mean,

‘letting it all hang out’
with a significant other.

(Based on just flavor alone,
you can see the error in that,
I’m sure, but I digress).

I do like those raspberry
flavored ‘Zingers’ a lot,
but let’s not get ridiculous,
now.

And GUM ?

In general, chewing gum
is pretty much a substitute
for doing nothing at all –

— it certainly is not a feast
for the senses and never
has been.

Two seconds of a weird
chemical-fruit-flavor
and then it’s just
rubbery sensory
purgatory.

Hell, the worst intimate
tryst that I ever experienced
contained more bursts
of excitement and pleasure
than that, for crying out
loud.

(10 more seconds worth,
at least….. )

Blow as hard you want,
it’s still just gum, man.

So maybe I misunderstood
what ‘they’ve’ been trying
to tell us —

–or maybe the message
has changed ??

Is there a message at all?

Is this all just
random nonsense?

Oh, damn.

And I thought it was
gonna get deep.

!!! HOY !!!

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What Wasn’t New In 1946

” Packard —
Brand New For 1946 “.

That’s what a brochure
for the first post-war Packard automobiles
said.

But,
as everybody knows –
civilian motor car production
was cut off in early 1942 ,
subsequent to the U.S. entry
into World War II, and new
car development and design
hadn’t yet restarted in time
for the 1946 models.

So,
which was it?

Simply put,
they lied, like
any ‘good’ advertising
agency did back then.

Put in their parlance,
they made lemonade
out of already squeezed
lemons.

I’m usually shocked when
it’s so obvious, but these
examples from the 1946
Packard advertising brochure
really take the cake.

Packard officials later
admitted there was
little or no ‘new’ content
in the 1946 models- and in
the “Standard Catalog of
American Cars, 1946-1975,”
G. Marshall Naul noted:
“The 1946 Packards were
an extension of the 1942 Clipper line with practically no changes.”

And of course, plenty of
automotively-savvy folks
caught on right quick —

Which caused Packard to
take a different tack —

In a later ad , they explained
their reasons for all the
non-changes in the ‘all-new’
Packard ‘strategy’ :

1. “By continuing to build this superlatively fine motor car over into 1947, we do not have to stop production to ‘tool up’ for changes. This means more cars sooner for people who are so eager to become Packard owners.”

2. “By continuing the present styling,
Packard fully protects the motorist
who buys today’s new Packard.
He
knows that the stunning new Packard he buys today
will not become ‘dated’

in appearance tomorrow.”

3. “The stacks of orders now on hand are gratifying evidence that today’s new Packard is the car America wants.”

4. “Because of its advanced Clipper
styling, today’s new Packard is not
only conceded to be the best-looking
car on the road, but is actually
ahead of its time.”

5. “No car we have ever built, in all our 46-year history, ever won such spontaneous, enthusiastic, nationwide acclaim as today’s beautiful new Packard Clipper.”

Still, with all these non-reasons,
they managed to convince
over 30,000 folks to buy a
‘brand-new’ Packard in 1946.

But one wonders if this
kind of overtly-false advertising destroyed the car-maker’s credibility with buyers in the end —

— which came for Packard in 1957.

!! HOY !!

The Postcard Art of Achille Mauzan

I have repeatedly
been told in the past
by readers and
collectors alike,
that my tastes in
postcard art run a
bit into the obscure –

and,
that’s probably true.

I’ll admit,
for instance,
that there are certainly
artists a lot of folks
have never heard of –
who nonetheless
consistently created
pieces that really sing
to me.

It could be a matter
of color, shading, lines,
or just a witty sense of
humor or an interesting
perspective that grabs
my initial attention —

(and of course,
a pretty girl with a hint
of stocking never hurts )

but there are relatively
few that can combine
all those elements to
create a lasting impression.

One of those artists
would be Achille Mauzan –
although,
I must add,
his work does have
a very large following internationally.

Born in the scenic town of
Gap in the French Alps
in 1883, and a graduate
of the École des Beaux-Arts
in Lyon, he quickly became
one of the leading lights
of the Art Deco movement
in the first part of the
20th Century.

This style and influence
can clearly be seen in his
best poster and postcard
work .

And of course,
flappers, galore.

Although many remember
his advertising posters for
Italian products, and is
often thought of as an
Italian himself, he actually
divided the time of his
working life between
nationalities —

–working for years in
Milano and Turin,
several more in
the Argentine,
and finally back in
Paris and Lyon.

He is especially adept
at communicating
a simmering sense
of sensuality in some
of his saucier postcards–

and while the pastel
colors in the cards are
generally muted,
dabs of bright hues bring
the point of focus exactly
where he wants it to be.

After producing literally
thousands of beautiful
posters, lithographs,
illustrations and postcards,
he finally retired to his
hometown of Gap,
where he spent all
his remaining
time painting until his
death in 1951.

.

!!! HOY !!!

.

It’s All In Your Stocking

I’m showing my age.

( What’s new, huh? )

I went to a pretty
formal event
last week
(not by my own
choosing, of course)
and I noticed a distinct
paucity of people
dressed up.

Now, when I
say ‘dressed up’,
I mean, face washed,
hair combed,
wearing business
or sunday-go-
to-meeting clothes.

Hey, I wasn’t
even wearing shorts —
I had to wear long
business pants,
and a long sheet shirt,
dammit-

so I wasn’t expecting
anybody else would/
should be wearing less.

And boy howdy,
well,
all I can say is,
a white fruit of the loom
t-shirt and ripped jeans
does not make a good
impression at a formal
funeral.

I also noticed hardly
any of the women
present were wearing
stockings.

What happened ?????????

I never saw so many
birch tree type legs
in my life.

Ahhh,
phooey.

Never mind that stockings
make ones legs look much
more appealing,
more glamorous,
more stylish,

(especially if she
doesn’t shave em)

they keep your legs warm
when the wind is blowing,

and that there enough
shades and styles
made these days
that they’ll match
just about any outfit
somebody would
want to wear……..

I just don’t
get it, man.

Nylon stockings were the
greatest invention since the
electric frappe maker, and
nobody’s wearing em ??

That just bums me out.

Regardless,
as somebody
who does still
enjoy em —

(one who just
looks at them
and doesn’t
actually wear
em, of course)

– I just kinda
figured a post
explaining where
they came from and
the different kinds
might actually
encourage ladies
to reconsider their use.

Like that’ll happen.

Eh.

Anyway —
what we usually
call ‘stockings’ ,
( which includes
stuff like panty hose)
weren’t any big
deal until the 1920’s, when
skirts started getting shorter.

Before that, they were more
like leggings or long-johns,
and were more for warmth
than anything else.

But the jazz age meant
that more leg was being
shown – and the sheer
stocking came of age–
they were made
of silk or rayon
until nylon was invented
in the late 1930’s.

During WWII, 
women still wanted
stockings, despite the
rarity of civilian nylon,
and went to interesting
extents to get the look.

Yes, leg paint –
or leg make-up.

Some women just drew
a line on the back of their
legs and called it a seam.

Today,
three stocking types
are in common
use:

stay-ups which have their
own elastic to hold them in
place , including thigh highs
and knee highs ….

garter belt stockings that
hang from a belt or are held
in place by a separate piece
of elastic or tight fitting fabric,
(those are the sexy ones… )

and panty hose
which are
much like
dancer’s tights .

Once you’ve chosen
your type,
you still have a
huge variety of
styles to choose from —

open weave fish-nets,
cuban high heel cut,
seamed or unseamed,
open-toed ,
nude-heel,
all kinds of fabrics
and densities,
designs and
transparencies.

It seems like the
perfect
fashion accessory,
doesn’t it?

And as a man,
I say again,
that I think they’re
very nice to look at, too.

!!! HOY !!!

.

The Essence of a Pin Up

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Hey,
following the Muscleheaded Blog
can be quite a chore,
I understand that.

There’s some really weird stuff
on here, man.

So I try to mitigate the pain,
whenever possible,

…. with beautiful vintage pin up art.

Like creative writing,

suzannemaunier

Suzanne Meunier

a great piece of art can be said
to exist in three places…

in the heart of the artist,
in the mind of the viewer,
and upon the canvas/medium itself.

But interestingly enough,
none of these images are identical.

The artist always sees
his creation
from the perspective
of his inspiration —

— how well his creative expression
lived up to the original vision.

The viewer sees
and judges the work
from his own very distinctive
and individual set of preferences,vespa
prejudices,
taste, and experience.

Much like a good work of poetry,

it is not all that relevant to its creator,

how the art is understood
by the individual viewer,

—– or to the viewer,
what the piece specifically
meant to the artist.

It is not necessary that there is a
meeting of minds between artist and art lover.a

The image itself –

— on the canvas,
or on the film,
or on the drawing pad,
or even on the skin —

is simply a mass of colors,
contrasts, textures,
and shapes —

—which bridges the perspectives
of the artist with those of the viewer,
and creates a subjective experience in each.

Harry Ekman

Harry Ekman

No wonder there are so many
opinions on what is,
….. and what is not,
good art.

“Pin Ups” are an art form
that I am particularly fond of.

It is, of course,
a genre that isn’t
and cannot be strictly defined —

— although many see it
as a very narrow class related to
scantily clad, large breasted women
in provocative poses.

almoore1

Al Moore

(Not that I have anything against
scantily clad, large breasted women
in provocative poses….. )

Actually,

I’m the last guy to knock
the whole idea of scantily clad women
of any breast size,

—- but that’s not all there is to it.

And I suppose that most pin-up fans
in the U.S. would define pin-ups,
as a purely American art form —

as characterized by the
work of artists like:

Gil Elvgren,
George Petty,

Coles Phillips

Coles Phillips

Rolf Armstrong,
Joyce Ballantyne,

Harry Ekman,
Zoe Mozert,
Earl Moran, etc–

……. and,
originating with pioneering artists

like:

Charles Dana Gibson,
Coles Phillips,
and J.C. Leyendecker.

The pin up form-
-in terms of tattooing-

a1

Sailor Jerry Collins

…. is actually considered part
of a genre called “American Traditional”-

typified by the works of artists like:

Sailor Jerry Collins,
Bob Shaw,
or Bert Grimm.

Pin-ups really get around, ya know.

In actual fact,
the first use of the term ‘pin up’
was in the British press, during the early 1940’s,

fernandebarrey

Fernande Barrey

…… and the practice of
hanging pictures and illustrations
of pretty girls in skimpy costumes
(or no costume at all)
started with English Tommies
during WW I.

This lovely French lady,
Miss Fernande Barrey,
graced the wall of many
a foxhole during the Great War,

…. and she can be rightfully
called the most popular pin up girl of the 20th century.

Yes,
even more popular than Bettie Page.

Her nudes,
in particular,
are today often categorized

Jean-Gabriel Domergue

Jean-Gabriel Domergue

not under pin-ups, however,
but as “French Postcards”.

Still,
they were first and foremost
‘pin-ups’ in the most basic of ways.

So, personally,

I think the term ‘pin-up’
should be open for interpretation.

And, putting the whole ranges of
photographic, tattoo and
ultra-realist pin up art aside,

— that still leaves a wide variety
of styles in relation to painted
and illustrated forms.

henryclive

Henry Clive

One cannot simply reject works of artists
like Raphael Kirchner and
Jean-Gabriel Domergue out of hand,

… because they didn’t fit a strict set
of parameters mostly related
to exaggerated perspective,

or because they weren’t American artists.

Other important European pioneers include:

British artists Aubrey Beardsley,
and David Wright,

Czech artist Alphonse Mucha,

Italian artist Achille Mauzan,

leofontan

Leo Fontan

and French artists Leo Fontan,
and Xavier Sager.

As the 1930’s progressed,
pin-up styles advanced
and diversified overseas by artists like:

Takabatake Kasho,
Suzanne Meunier,
Victor Tchetchet
and Chéri Hérouard,

…… and in the United States by:

Haddon Sundblom,

Henry Clive,
Zoe Mozert
and Earl Moran.

World War II pushed the

George Petty

George Petty

envelope even further,

but slowly,
the art of George Petty and Gil Elvgren
became the ‘gold standard’
that other artists aspired to.

When the fifties broke,
even more commercial markets
for the “American” type of pin-up opened up–

Calendars,
pulp magazines,
advertising all were booming,

…… and the larger publishing houses
like Brown and Bigelow controlled both content and style.

This tended to restrict, to some extent,

Alberto Vargas

Alberto Vargas

the creativity and innovativeness
of up and coming artists in the 1960’s .

If one looks at a 1960’s era Alberto Vargas,
for instance,

…. it’s not very different from the
pin-ups popular in the early 1930’s.

But, today, there has been a renaissance —

one might even say a revolution–

…….in the world of pin-up art.

Due to the ready availability
and open nature of the internet—

Artists are now free from the
traditional constraints of the

Maly Siri

Maly Siri

old-order art marketplace.

Gone are the large publishing companies

enforcing their idea of art upon those
who wish to make a living creating
beautiful, sensual art.

Thus, gorgeous fresh and innovative works
of the pin up genre are being created
in all kinds of different styles
and mediums all around the world,

… by artists as diverse as:

Maly Siri,
Brett Parson,
Olivia de Berardinis,
Hajime Sorayama,
Tommy Tijeda,

rolfarmstrong

Rolf Armstrong

Shane Glines,

et al.

Because the essential aspect of pin up
isn’t so much a matter of technique or perspective,

….. as it is the ultimate projection
of feminine beauty and sensuality onto a medium —

Any medium.

Long live Pin-Up Art–
and the artists that create it !

.

Who’s your favorite Pin Up Artist ?

Let me know with a comment,
or a submission !

.

HOY !

.
vargas Alberto Vargas