D.W.C. Pin-up Girls Portraits - Painters Alberto Vargas

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Alberto Vargas (9 February 1896 – 30 December 1982) was a noted Peruvian painter of pin-up
 girls. He is often considered one of the most famous of the pin-up artists. Numerous Vargas
 paintings have sold and continue to sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Born in Arequipa, Peru, Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez moved to the United States in 1916
 after studying art in Europe prior to World War I. He was the son of noted Peruvian
photographer Max T. Vargas. His early career included work as an artist for the Ziegfeld Follies
 and for many Hollywood studios. Vargas' most famous piece of film work was that for the 1933
 film The Sin of Nora Moran, which shows a near-naked Zita Johann in a pose of desperation. 
The poster is frequently named one of the greatest movie posters ever made. He became famous
 in the 1940s as the creator of iconic World War II era pin-ups for Esquire magazine known 
as "Vargas Girls." The nose art of many World War II aircraft was adapted from these
 Esquire pin-ups.

In 2004, Hugh Hefner, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Playboy, who had previously worked
 for Esquire, wrote that "The US Post Office attempted to put Esquire out of business in the 1940s
 by taking away its second-class mailing permit. The Feds objected, most especially, to the 
cartoons and the pin-up art of Alberto Vargas. Esquire prevailed in the case that went to the
 Supreme Court, but the magazine dropped the cartoons just to be on the safe side". A legal
 dispute with Esquire over the use of the name "Varga" resulted in a judgement against Vargas
 and he struggled financially until the 1960s when Playboy magazine began to use his work
 as "Vargas Girls." 



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