Sunday, October 27, 2013

When Glamour Was Sexy

Sirens: The Pinup Art of David Wright – Terry Parker (Titan Books)

I don’t want to sound like an old man, especially a dirty old man, but oh how times have changed! I think it’s interesting timing that the release of Terry Parker’s homage to the great, British pinup artist David Wright comes at a time when we can’t turn on the television or look online without being bombarded with images of what some try to pawn off as sexy. Think the in your face, disgusting, tongue lolling, Miley Cyrus thrusting her goods for what little they are worth.

In Sirens: The Pinup Art of David Wright, author Terry Parker brings a collector’s loving touch to assembling the work of one of World War II’s most noted pinup artists. Unlike many of his contemporaries in the pinup game, Wright, who got his start as a fashion artist, brought a sense of style and glamour to his work, at time when style and glamour was in short supply.

Wright’s work was regularly featured in the publications The Sketch and later Men Only and Parker collects many examples from both here. While his contemporaries like Gil Elvgren and Alberto Vargas created inflated images of buxom babes, Wright’s work had a much more subtle approach. The best way I can describe the difference in style is by the difference between a sneak peak of Wright and the bold “hey here I am” of the others.

While I have doubts about our ability to put the genie, let alone the oversized foam finger back into the bottle, it’s nice every once in while to get a reminder that less is more when it comes to sexy.  


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