Passion For Art

>>>George Petty

The Petty Girl was always seen as an American icon. Appearing first in Esquire magazine’s inaugural issue, she was in magazine centerfolds, posters, advertising hoardings, calendars and various specialized products from the first appearance in 1933 until 1956. Not always with Esquire though, as at a time when tempers were wearing thin, the management of Esquire took on the talents of Alberto Vargas, Petty was already disillusioned at this time and moved on rather than stay with the magazine. This did however mean that both Vargas and Petty were producing their respective images for different companies, the result being more of their works hitting the public than would otherwise have been the case had they been working together.The Petty Girls were put to a lot of tasks – everything from advertising underwear and nylons for the ladies, all the way to the other end of the spectrum in adorning tools and machinery for the men; the girls were even put in uniform for the war years to present themselves as an advert for the women’s forces.

The Petty Girl is only a dream though, with George unafraid to manipulate the images of his mind’s eye to suit his tastes on the final image. As is so often the case with pinup artists, the models are often only part of the image, the artist blending two or three different models’ attributes into one seamless final image. In the case of the Petty Girls though, the artist goes one step further, often making the image of the girl’s head smaller than it should be whilst at the same time slimming and lengthening legs and torsos to form an image that is far from reality, and yet at the same time, is done so well that many may not even consider the proportions.

Whatever and however he made these changes to reality, the images he finally produced are spectacular. How the bra-burners of this politically correct age would view them if they were still in print today is another matter altogether

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