The Pin Up Art Of Ernest Chiriaka

Sure, you’re a
longtime and
dedicated subscriber
of the Muscleheaded Blog,
right?

That,
my friend,
makes you
a sorta
expert on the
vintage Pin Up
genre –

– so, you should have
no trouble telling me
just who the heck was
Anastassios Kyriakakos.

Hey-
no fair,
reading the post title.

Yeah,
you’re right –

it was none
other than
Ernest Chiriaka.

I’m given to understand
the name is a translated
version of the whole
Anastassios K thing.

Sorry,
all Greek to me.

But there is more
to the name thing-
Tassi
is the shortened form
of Anastassios,
which sounds like
Darcy “,
which is a name you
might see on certain
Chiriaka works.
(along with “ACKA”
and “A.D.” )

Confused, yet?

Well, this guy was
a seriously skilled
artist, and I’ll make
no bones about that.

His heritage was Spartan
(literally), his parents
having emigrated from the
Laconia area of Greece,
and coming to the United
States in 1907.

He was born a couple
years later, in 1913,
in New York City.

At the age of 14,
young Tassi was painting
on anything he could find-
and soon was hired to
paint signs professionally
in a shop.

In that job, he recognized
his calling, and signed up
for evening classes in
illustration and drafting
at the venerable Mechanics
Institute, then going on to
the Grand Central School
of Art.

There, he met a lovely
young art student named
Katherine, and he married
her in 1937.

By 1940, his illustrative
work was appearing in a
wide range of publications,
and his work on pulp fiction
covers was especially popular.

These included
titles like:
Sweetheart Stories,
Ten Detectives,
Aces Western,
Adventure,
Big Book Western,
Black Book Detective,
Detective Fiction Weekly,
Dime Western,
Texas Rangers,
Thrilling Mystery,
Exciting Detective,
Fifteen Western Tales,
.44 Westerns,
G-Men Detective,
New Detective,
Phantom Detective,
Rodeo Romances,
Star Western,
et al.

But a new market also
was creating demand:

Pin Ups for calendars,
magazines, advertising,
arcade cards, and the
like.

By 1942, with World
War II in full swing,
and he himself found
ineligible for military
service due to health
issues, he found himself
knee deep in illustrative
jobs of all kinds.

As busy as he was then,
the period after the war
was actually his most
creative and productive
era-

– he became a part of
the American Artists
Agency in 1950, and
thus, was doing art
for the country’s most
popular magazines like
American Magazine,
Colliers, Coronet, The Saturday Evening Post,
Argosy……

and more
especially,
Esquire Magazine,
– where his classic
pin ups are still
remembered with
great enthusiasm.

In the 1960’s,
he went back to
concentrating on
paper-back book
covers, and by the
late 1980’s was
really only interested
in doing landscapes
with an Old
West theme.

He passed the veil
at age 98, in 2010,
at his longtime
home on
Long Island,
New York.

More Chiriaka Art Here.

! HOY !

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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 !!!

.