Hollywood Pinups by Timothy White (Collins Design)
Some of my most profound pubescent mam... er, memories were the sensual and voluptuous pulp illustrations by Alberto Vargas. His luscious renderings were fuel for any red-blooded male. New York photographer Timothy White created this photo book as a continued exploration of his 1994 commissioned homage for the 50th Anniversary of the Esquire Magazine's Varga Girl pinup.
Housed in a delicious red slipcase with a glossy black flap jacket, this picture book is sumptuously executed. White traveled near and far to capture his "pinups" at great expense. Moreover, 100% of the proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to Oxfam America.
The beautifully ageless Susan Sarandon, friend of Mr. White and once photographed by him for a Time magazine cover, wrote one of the two forwards for the book. Current Playboy editor Christopher Napolitano wrote the other. And he, like myself, is a "freaking" fan of Tea Leoni (image above left). (Is it just me or doesn't Ms. Leoni seem to be sporting a very fetching Joey Heatherton vibe?)
His former boss Hef featured many a luscious illustration of these scantily clad, desirable women. Mr. White has become one of our greatest celebrity photographers, in some ways replacing the late great Herb Ritts. His 20+ years of work is suffused with more than a nod to the macho era of male fantasies. His last coffee table book paid loving homage to deceased friend and East Coast King of Chopped Bikes Indian Larry.
His work in such magazines as Rolling Stone, aforementioned Esquire, and Vanity Fair often captures the more playful side of famous celebrities. From macho men Paul Newman on a super mini bike to Harrison Ford on a Pee Wee Herman-style bicycle, these are men that know and trust their images with Mr. White's lenswork.
But I digress... Evocative photos of famous women are nothing new. From Bridget Bardot to Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, we have grown accustomed to the power of the female form. In his original Esquire homage, to achieve the impression of an illustration Mr. White used airbrushing, pieces of fabric and Photoshop to recreate the desired effect.
Of course, working with the natural beauty of Felicity Huffman, Susan Sarandon, Kate Hudson, Angie Harmon, Vanessa Williams, Molly Simms, and 17 other sirens required scant manipulation, mostly their famous female forms framed against a white or black backdrop and accented by spiked heels by Christian Louboutin, a drape of cloth (scarf, corset, satin skirt, hats, even a 15-carat diamond G-string), and diamonds.
Pinup fantasies are a rite of passage. From the soldier in the field to worker in the shop, they are a constant reminder that the world swerves on a woman's hip. Thank you, Timothy for affording us more reminders.