art

Menu:

What's new ?

Sign Up for our Updates and Special Offers.

Email:
We don't share our list.

Visit our BLOG page and leave your comments.

Also please visit our website to view a specific Artist's work, to check our Events and Exhibit Calendar, or to make an inquiry about art. We provide free home shows for local residents. For further information please contact us or call 858-551-8108 for more details.



CLICK HERE to browse the Collections of

From the Playboy Archive

Rare Collector's pieces from Alberto Vargas and Leroy Neiman

The Original Vargas Girls by Alberto Vargas

Vargas Girl
Caption: “That’s what I call starting off the New Year with a bang!”

Alberto Vargas, arguably the greatest pinup artist of the 20th century, delighted subscribers with his beautiful Vargas Girls for nearly two decades. Certainly among PLAYBOY’S most beloved artists, he gave readers a monthly dose of his special blend of wit and sensuality. Each of his creations is unique and every reader has his or her favorite.

Although he was born in Peru and educated in Europe, Vargas made a name for himself in New York during the 1920’s illustrating posters for “Florenz Ziegfelds’s Follies”. Vargas worked for Ziegfeld until the showman died in 1932. Throughout the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, he contributed to numerous publications, among them Esquire. Best known for his lengthy collaboration with PLAYBOY, Alberto first worked for the magazine in 1957, and then became a regular contributor in 1960, when original art director Art Paul convinced Hugh Hefner that including the artist allowed PLAYBOY to offer another sophisticated depiction of the female form without having another photographic pictorial.

For over twenty years, Vargas depicted women from every walk of life. All were printed in the magazine with a caption, created by the editorial staff at PLAYBOY. An academically trained figure painter, he based each of his artworks on a live model and lovingly painted them in watercolor. In fact, many of his paintings were based on his wife Anna Mae, a dancer who he met when painting the Follies. They remained inseparable throughout the course of their lives, and although they had no children he often referred to his paintings as his “babies.”

Leroy Neiman's Femlin

Femlin pair by Leroy Neiman

THE FEMLIN

Playboy’s Femlin, the impish nymphet who has teased and amused Playboy readers for five decades, celebrated her fiftieth anniversary in 2007. In 1956, artist LeRoy Neiman translated Hugh Hefner’s idea of a pint-sized, mischievous woman into living black and white for the magazine’s “Party Jokes” page. However, it wasn’t until 1957 that she donned her now familiar costume of black hair, black gloves and long, black stockings and became a legend.

To Playboy’s readers she is as recognizable as the company’s Rabbit Head Logo. She has appeared on eight Playboy covers, inspired a pictorial entitled The Femlin Comes to Life, and has advocated the Playboy lifestyle by listening to jazz, mixing cocktails and having a great time. Neiman still creates new Femlins for every issue and she remains nearly unchanged after five decades.

Playboy maintains an archive or LeRoy’s original Femlin drawings and exhibits many of them as part of its famous art collection. Painted by LeRoy in black ink, these artworks showcase not just the mischievous Femlin, but often also display original Playboy production stamps, the initials of art directors who approved the art, hand-written dates and other signs of the magazine’s production process.

LeRoy Neiman got his start at Playboy in 1954, less than a year after Hugh Hefner started the magazine. Neiman’s illustrations for Charles Beaumont’s story “Black Country” won Playboy its first art award, which was given by the Chicago Art Director’s Club. Since then he has become one of Playboy’s most beloved contributors as well as one of the most successful artists in the world.