Author Archives: American Pin-Up
Stela Ličina is a model, make-up artist, and hair stylist from Vancouver. She is also a very close friend to model Elly Mayday. There is very little available about her personal and professional life, so we will simply have to content ourselves with enjoying the images of this curvy beauty.
Other places you can find Stela:
Gallery of Stela Ličina
This model looks vaguely familiar, but we still can’t quite pinpoint who she is. Can you help identify her? Thank you.
We couldn’t find a larger version of this image so that we could, at least, read the photographer’s watermark. Nor could we find any other photos of this model with this car that could help us identify her. Your help, as always, is appreciated. Please leave a comment below if you know who this is or who the photographer is.
Gallery of Savanna May Peterson
Bill Medcalf was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he received all of his art education from schools in the area he lived. He worked in the art department of the United States Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving from 1940 to 1941, and later enlisted as a guners mate in 1942.
Medcalf painted pin-ups for Brown and Bigelow from 1947 through 1967, handling all of the special-project calendar commissions for the firm’s most important customers.
Gallery of Bill Medcalf
Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez was a painter and illustrator of pin-up girls and is often considered one of the most famous pin-up artists of all time. Born February 9, 1896, in Peru to photographer Max Vargas and his wife, Margarita, Alberto was inspired early on by the paintings of Jean-Dominique Ingres and by Raphael Kirchner’s watercolor illustrations of women. Vargas apprenticed as a photographer with the Julien Studios in Geneva, and Sarony Court Photographers in London. The start of World War I forced Vargas to leave Europe, and he moved to New York — rather than return home to Peru. He was never formerly trained as a painter, and learned his airbrush techniques when he retouched photos in his father’s studio in Peru. He taught himself how to use pen and ink, watercolors, oils, and pastels.
Vargas was widely known for his use of the airbrush in his paintings. He did an underpainting with a paint brush first and, then, airbrushed color over top in a glazing technique. Even though he worked in watercolor, he was able to achieve this because the sprayed color did not disturb the delicate underpainting, which remained untouched during color application. During his time with Esquire Magazine, he relied upon the airbrush more and more due to the time constraints of his deadlines.
Vargas produced 180 paintings for Esquire Magazine from 1940 to 1946. He hit the high-point in his career when Playboy Magazine began publishing his works in 1959, which he continued to produce until the 1970s, when he went into a self-imposed retirement after the death of his wife/manager/muse Anna Mae. He produced 152 paintings for Playboy during that 16-year stint.
He came out of partial retirement in 1978, after renewed interest in his works, and he produced a few more paintings — including the album cover the the Cars’ Candy-O album (1979), and Bernadette Peters’ albums in 1980 and 1981. He died of a stroke on December 30, 1982 at the age of 86.
Gallery of Alberto Vargas
Greta MaCabre (Ivana Benko/Greta O’Hara) is an internationally-published pin up model/stylist/collaborator/vintage-retro fashionista and part-time makeup and hair artist based in Croatia.
Greta loves antiques, classic cars, rock and roll music, vintage photography, culture and fashion. She based her name, Greta, on her idols from the golden age of Hollywood (Lucille Ball, Marlene Dietrich, Hedi Lamarr, etc.); and her last name, Macabre, from her psychobilly days and her love of classic horror films.
She is interested in new projects that include alternative, fashion modeling, commercial, vintage, avantgarde, haute macabre, latex and pin-up modeling. Most of the time Greta does her make up/hair/style concepts herself.
Other places you can find Greta:
Gallery of Greta Macabre
Robert Alvarado credits exposure to the pinup images of the 1950’s during his critical adolescent years as a large influence to his work. Taking these “vintage type shots” and turning those memories into an art form has become the “biggest passion” in his life right now. He sites great influences from artists Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas, and Olivia plus Norman Rockwell in their images, color and beautiful women. Alvarado has been taking photographs all his life but has only begun doing so professionally in the last six years. Alvarado seems to humbly enjoy this passion and be truly appreciative that others value it. Describing himself as a regular guy just doing what he loves, Alvarado quotes Michelangelo in saying: “I am a poor man and of little worth, who is laboring in the art that God has given me in order to extend my life as long as possible”. He brings a refreshing enthusiasm to his newest vocation and claims he is “like a big kid when he’s photographing someone.”
Alvarado’s style involves individual models in poses, often reminiscent of the classic 1940’s, in clothes, lingerie or tastefully nude looking directly at the camera. The color, form and style of the images have an allure that captivates onlookers and confounds fellow photographers. It is a process he has been developing through trial and error for over a year until he created the look he desired. Blogs on photography sites beg for hints on how he achieves his look. They suggest software? filters? plug ins? to create the flat color of the images with the pop out shine of some of the models’ key features.
Gallery of Robert Alvarado
David Wright – (1912–1967) was a British-born fashion illustrator and was one of the leading pin-up artists of the 20th Century. Wright brought a sense of realism to his pin-up girls. Wright produced a series of over 160 pin-up illustrations known as “Lovelies” during the 1940s. His pin-ups appeared in publications, both in Great Britain and America, establishing him as one of the most popular pin-up artists during World War II.