Vintage Voice: Pin-Up Passion

From magazine ads to the deepest crevices of the internet, Pin-Up style hairdos, outfits, and poses can be found just about everywhere. Even in modern times, the look of the original Pin-up girls have prevailed with the help of world famous artist Gil Elvgren.

Gil Elvgren produced over 500 hand-crafted images of beautiful ladies from the mid 1930’s to 1972. Most of his works were oil on canvas, in which his improvements as an artist could be seen with every new piece. With his technique and ability to create engaging compositions, Elvgren is considered the best pin-up artist in American Illustration by almost all art based foundations.

Gil’s models were often people he knew, including neighbors and friends. He often asked them to pose in various positions to ensure the correct proportions and angles, but never created portraits from their faces. Surprisingly, Gil often left his works untitled and undated. The titles and dates we know now are credited to the copywriters and calendar corporations who were in charge of the reproduction of the paintings.

His influence as both an artist and a teacher surpassed his wildest dreams. After the publication of his work in a variety of books and magazines, Elvgren decided to share his wealth by apprenticing many young artists. Many others who did not apprentice under him looked at his work for inspiration while others sought to “emulate the master”. His works went on to inspire the styles of many others not in the fine arts world, including pop stars and models. Mel Ramos, pop star, credits most of her iconic style to the paintings by Elvgren.

Even today the pin-up positions of Gil Elvgren’s paintings serve as inspiration for many artists today. From his many books, calendars, postcards, and more, Gil was able to create the ultimate standard of a pin-up girl in just about every situation.

So next time you see your favorite tattooed model in a pin-up esque shoot or your favorite celeb looking like she stepped out of a time machine from the 1950’s, just remember that Elvgren’s works were a part of that image.

Check out our Elvgren Calendar Girls right here at Love Life, and own your own babe framed or unframed!

Info courtesy of
Sara Giarratano