Leading into the 20th century, human sexuality was a thing of taboo—for the word “sex” to be uttered aloud was uncouth, and a woman showing more than a bare ankle was instantly dubbed a harlot.
Thankfully, as shown by SFR’s current special issue, things have changed a tad since then.
Some sex historians might argue that we have the modern concept of the pin-up—tantalizing and suggestive sexy lasses of the day—to thank for that. Armed with more hairspray and polka-dotted garb than that found at one of my chola cousin’s cookouts, the Bettie Pages and Betty Grables of the day reclaimed their God-given sensuality and gave many a GI company something else to think about during WWII.
Taking a page from their book—or, in this case, Varga-illustrated mag—artists Carrie Tafoya and Ungelbah Dávila joined forces for a pin-up-tastic multimedia exhibition that opens this Friday at Eggman & Walrus.
Dubbed Pinup-ology, the exhibit features over 40 original photographs and live rockabilly performances courtesy of The Shadow Men and Mr. Right and the Leftovers.
“We wanted to do things differently for our opening,” Dávila tells SFR. “It’s going to be more than your standard wine and cheese thing.”
Also at hand, live pin-up models are set to work the room in vintage and original designs by Tafoya, providing the evening’s “eye candy.”
“We sought to create an overall mid-century ambience,” Davila says.
Though flirty and fun, some of the images in the show, like “At Arms,” (pictured) have a deeper meaning.
“I had the vision of a psychedelic ’60s war protest picture,” Dávila, who snapped the shot, says. Later, she would find out that the model pictured is an Operation Iraqi Freedom vet, which added another layer of depth to the image.
For Dávila, pin-ups and rockabilly are a way of life, so much so that in 2010 she created a publication called La Loca. She hopes that this exhibit brings the lifestyle to a broader audience.
“I really enjoy the wholesomeness of it,” she says. “It was the last time [that] females were being flirtatious and coy without being extreme or pornographic…it’s empowering!”
6-11 pm Friday, Feb. 8 Eggman &Walrus Art Emporium
130 W Palace Ave., 660-00