Pinup art galleries should represent the era they belong in—no mixing and matching.
This rule has been heavily applied by critics of the modern pinup style. Essentially,
they frown upon the mixing and matching of fashion, make-up and hairstyles from different
eras in modern art images.
The substance of modern pinup art has been the subject of much debate. Pin ups in
the early and mid-20th century could be sexy and fun, but mainstream erotic art producers
usually refused to cross the line between sexy and obscene. For example, a girl might
be posed with wet hair in a towel, but she would not be naked or otherwise doing
anything that would make the image lewd.
Historically there were many naked pin up images produced, however they were considered
more “underground,” while regular pinup images were accepted as glamorous and sexy.
The exotic artistic models who did nudity and were discovered might find themselves
before a courtroom, or at the very least in a scandal with their neighborhood or
Today, modern pinup art crosses the line from sexy to nude and even beyond, this
is considered the norm. There are photographers who produced nude pinups with more
sexualized poses than what was popular in the past. The appearance of the pinup model
has also changed into the modern idiom of today. In the past, an art model needed
to be the ideal beauty of the time.
This meant that girls who posed with anything considered ugly or unusual might find
themselves out of work. Today, modern pinups feature a range of women from all walks
of life—different races, sizes, and even ages. Models in the past were required to
hang up their stockings when they reached a certain age, but the modern pin-up style
allows for adult women of all ages to participate in the fun. Women in today’s modern
pinup art can even sport full sleeve tattoos—which would have been frowned upon or
even forbidden in the early images!
Traditional pinup galleries, they say, should represent a particular era—the 1920s
or 1950s, for example—by recreating the style of the pin up and fashion of the time.
Doing otherwise is muddling with the art form.
However, the modern pinup art gallery is much more free and open. A model can choose
to wear an outfit inspired by the 1940s, put on make-up popular in the 1950s, and
tease their hair into a do inspired by the crazy curls of the 1980s. Or don an 18th
century wig and a slinky modern dress for a photo shoot in a Victorian home.
Modern pinup erotica can be so much more than a time capsule—it does not have to
repeat history. For this reason and those above, this style of artwork should not
be cast aside or loathed, but embraced by those who see it as a new wave of the pinup
art form. Today’s girls can be anything they want to be, and there is something in
modern pinup art for everyone.
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