Monday, March 07, 2011

The hammer and sickle girls

While researching World War II pin-up pictures (and yes, I consider it research), I came across these fabulous pin-up photos, faux 1940s and '50s pin-up girls, from photographer Irina Davis. They are all Russian models, and as Ms. Davis explains it:
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.

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.
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!

Copyright © Irina Davis 2007-2009

*Russki sweethearts (iGoogle translation)


DEMiller said...

These photos, (and girls), look so perfect that I thought they were paintings.

El Postino said...

I'm sure Photoshop had a lot to do with the look of these pics.

The costume on the girl with the telephone is painted on.