Because of the devastation of World War II, Russian “girls” in the ’40s and ’50s were taught to be tough and work hard. I am saddened by the fact that Russia never had the chance to enjoy the happy pin-up times of America’s postwar period. In fact, cheerful American pin-up art was considered in Soviet Russia to be politically incorrect, decadent and flat-out immoral, the product of a culture that could never understand the true nature of the human condition.As Ms. Davis wished them to do, these photos have "seduced me with alluring imagery, and trapped me into empathizing with a foreign element." There's one chick with a hammer, another with a sickle. My little Русский Влюбленные,* come and keep your comrade warm!
By photographing exclusively Russian immigrant women in traditional all-American pin-up poses, I am inventing my own genre of Russian pin-up. My concept is to portray pure beauty, femininity and sexuality, not to objectify but to empower. To those who identify the clues in my work, hidden to most non-Russian eyes, I am telling the story of a crisis of Russian national identity, and the frustration and confusion of self-identification with the Old Country, the New World and a diaspora caught between them. My goal is to bridge the gap and seduce the spectator with alluring imagery, trapping him into empathizing with a foreign element.
Copyright © Irina Davis 2007-2009
*Russki sweethearts (iGoogle translation)