The real America in the works of the master of the pin-up genre Gil Elvgren
Categories: ExhibitionBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/the-real-america-in-the-works-of-the-master-of-the-pin-up-genre-gil-elvgren
The work of the artist Gil Elvgren (Gil Elvgren) is considered the main event in the history of the pin-up genre. The master worked tirelessly for more than 40 years and left behind a huge number of wonderful works. Despite the impressive creative heritage, every illustration by Elvgren, and even just a sketch, become the subject of collectors' hunting. Fans of the master are ready to pay any money for them.
Gil Elvgren was born on March 15, 1914 in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. There were no creative people in his family — the parents of the future artist owned a hardware store. Gil himself began to be interested in fine art even before he learned to read. The boy was an avid collector of illustrations from magazines, which he ruthlessly tore out and put in a secluded place.
Over time, young Elvgren collected an impressive collection of pictures, which left an imprint on his formation as an artist. But after school, Gil unexpectedly went to study to be an architect. He enrolled at the University of Minnesota in the Faculty of Architecture and Design. In parallel with his higher education, the guy attended painting courses at the Minneapolis Art Institute. Drawing and painting brought him more satisfaction than sketching.
After graduating from university, Gil, who has already managed to get married, moves with his wife to Chicago. This metropolis seemed to the young artist a worthy place to start a career. Barely settled in a foreign land, Elvgren entered the American Academy of Fine Arts. It took him only two years to become the best of the best and start receiving his first serious orders.
For the first time, Gil Elvgren declared himself with advertising works for the Coca-Cola company. The artist worked for this brand for 25 years, creating for different generations of Americans the image of happy consumers of fizzy drink. Advertising images are not only recognizable "Elvgren girls". These are men, women of different ages, teenagers, children and whole families.
This is a real pin-up America that lived, worked, had fun and loved with Coca-Cola. During the Second World War, the artist added the military to his works. They were fit, smiling and confident in themselves and the power of their country. Gil Elvgren's illustrations became popular on the fronts as "icons" of real American life, which the fighters defended in Europe and on the The Pacific Ocean.
In the 40s and 50s, Gil Elvgren glorified the American dream in illustrations. He has created for such well-known publications as McCall's, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and Woman's Home Companion. In addition to Coca-Cola, the artist has collaborated with Orange Crush, Schlitz Beer, Sealy Mattress, General Electric, Sylvania and Napa Auto Parts. Those were the days when advertising was still "with a soul".
Not all fans of Elvgren's work know that he was not only an artist. No less masterly than pencils and a brush, Gil owned a camera. And besides, he was engaged in pedagogical activity and brought up a lot of good artists.
The classic of the world pin-up died on February 29, 1980 from cancer in his home in Siesta Key, Florida. Gil Elvgren was only 65 and he could have created many more beautiful works. It is said that after the artist's death, his son found an unfinished painting in the studio. Even being seriously ill, the master found the strength to work on his masterpieces secretly from his relatives and doctors.