Alberto Vargas-the artist who made pin-up a trendPictolic
Among all the genres of modern visual art, pin-up can be considered the most popular. Paintings in the poster style, with beautiful, often undressed girls, do not claim to be high art, but at the same time they are liked by almost everyone.
But few people know that pin-up owes much of its popularity to Alberto Vargas — an artist who is now considered a classic of this direction. (Careful! Nude).
Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez (Spanish: Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez) was born on February 9, 1896 in Arequipa, Peru. Joaquin's father, Max Vargas, was a well-known portrait photographer in the country, and at his leisure he took pictures of picturesque mountain landscapes and drew a little.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the young Alberto began to be interested in painting and photography from a very young age. At the age of 7, young Vargas was already selling his cartoons to local newspapers, and at 10 he deftly managed his father's photographic equipment and made prints himself in his home laboratory.
The parents welcomed their son's hobbies and when he turned 15, they sent him and his younger brother Max to study in Switzerland. Max devoted himself to studying banking, and Alberto, as planned, began taking photography lessons. The head of the family passionately wanted the eldest son to continue his business and he simply could not disappoint his beloved father.
Vargas at work
But the First World War disrupted the plans of the brothers and they had to return to their homeland, to Peru. Their way lay through New York, seeing which Alberto lost his head. From that moment on, Vargas ' life turned completely different from what his family wanted, thanks to which we know him as a pin-up classic.
It took only a few days for the young photographer to make the decision to stay in America and devote himself to drawing. The path to success was not easy — at first Alberto had to work at film studios, drawing scenery and posters.
Two of his most famous paintings are associated with that period of the artist's life and work — a portrait of the actress Olive Thomas and a poster with a half-naked Zita Johan for the film "The Sin of Nora Moran", released in 1933.
The Sin of Nora Moran, 1933
But the real success came to Alberto Vargas in the 40s. The artist drew for Esquire magazine those most famous "Vargas girls" who were so loved by the American military.
The girls, whose images were inspired by Alberto's magazine illustrations, appeared on the fuselages of combat aircraft, the control rooms of submarines, the towers of armored vehicles. Together with another pin-up master, George Petty, Vargas became the most popular artist among the American military and their allies.
Vargas was in demand and his work was well paid, until the conflict between Esquire and the US Postal Service began. The agency demanded to prohibit the publication of frivolous images on the covers or to transfer the magazine to the most expensive messenger category, which could turn into bankruptcy for the publication.
The lawsuits lasted from 1943 to 1946, and Esquire still won the case, remaining available to subscribers with any income. Unfortunately, there was no place for Alberto Vargas, because of whom the scandal broke out, after a series of lawsuits, in the editorial office of the magazine. The artist began a long streak of failures, accompanied by poverty and periods of despair.
The bright streak began in 1960, when Vargas began working in Playboy magazine with Hugh Hefner, with whom he worked together in the 40s at Esquire. The magazine not only willingly published Alberto's illustrations, but also signed them as "Vargas girls", contributing to an even greater increase in the popularity of the master.
Alberto Vargas became famous and in the 70s and 80s his exhibitions were held in many countries. The artist's works are highly valued at auctions both during his lifetime and after his death in 1982.
In 2003, at the Christie's, during the sale of the Playboy archives, Vargas '1967 painting" Trick or Treat " was sold for a record amount of $ 71,600 for a pin-up work.
Trick or Treat
If someone tells you that pin-up is not in trend today, show this person illustrations by Taiwanese artist Pigo Lin, one of the inspirers of which was Alberto Vargas.