|Bad example of a vintage WWII pin-up,
but wtf. I liked it 😉
Pin-up art arguably had it’s heyday in the 1940s, though it is seeing 21st century resurgence particularly in digital photography. Splashed across magazines, calendars and postcards, sultry illustrations
of women in various states of undress were at least partially intended to help boost the
morale of American soldiers at war; they were sexy but subtle, almost but not quite innocent. This was the girl next door that you were fighting for and she had to be wholesome, but, geez… lookit them knockers!
|“Bread – Homeland!”|
Of course pin-ups are not uniquely American, but they were in stark contrast to most of the art created during the Second World War. Those “morale boosting” posters in, say, the USSR.
Soviet propaganda posters featured plenty of women,
but they weren’t exposing any thighs or prancing around in bathing suits; Soviet women were rock hard, burly peasants swearing oaths of allegiance to the CCCP amongst backgrounds of drawn weapons and Industrial Utopia. In honest workman’s clothes they stand guard over missiles, lead the agricultural revolution and they’re just as strong
and serious as any man. Maybe more so. Sexuality was taboo in the USSR, and the thought
of boosting morale with a curvy dame
was unthinkable- these are women that could snap you like a twig if you threaten the homeland, comrade, and those titties are made for nurturing a new generation of workers- not for ogling.
Enter contemporary Russian artist and illustrator Валерий Барыкин (Valery Barykin), joining the two seemingly incompatible art forms.
The 47-year-old, Nizhny Novgorod-based artist began by reworking original posters but soon started using a digital tablet to sketch new pieces from live models. Although most of the pieces are completely digital, some have been done in more traditional oils on canvas.
“I have had a long time interest in Soviet art – I liked the (old) posters for Soviet films, and I began to soak up everything. Even if it was difficult to say if I liked it or not, just the art which took place in our Soviet life. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, I plunged into the world culture, including American realism and pin-ups. When a person presents something different, individual – it’s really interesting. Modern designers believe that this is the secret of success.”
Barykin uses elements of both the American and Soviet art form; the coy Western sexuality mixed with a nod to the Soviet value
on work and occupation are both present in this artistic hybrid.
|“Workers do not lose minutes!”|
|“I will tell you everything you want to know about roaming…”|
|“Culture Serves Every Visitor!”|
|“Assist the Novice Driver!”|
|“Victory to the New Labor!”|
|“Early Morning, Wake up Quickly Work is Ready!”|
“Visit us on the Construction Site!”
|“Housing Maintenance Worker! Give quality service on your site!”|
Barykin doesn’t limit himself to recreating and reimaging pinups, he also creates digital illustrations of retro-inspired advertisements
and slices of everyday life in Russia.
Valery Barykin – artinrussia.com
Valery Barykin – portfolio