Saturday, January 22, 2011

Since it is January......

You can click on images to enlarge. Double click for closer looks.

...I'll start with this. A 1946 calendar page by Alberto Vargas. His name is sometimes incorrectly identified as Varga. His work, as in this calendar image was often signed Varga. His full name, however, was Joaquin Alberto Vargas Y Chavez. A Peruvian painter who worked in watercolor and airbrush, and had a fondness for women. His images of women were quite iconic, glamorized, and sexualized. Men found them beautiful, to say the least. In World War II, his images, or facsimilies of them, found their way onto the noses of warplanes. Men in war longed for mythologized versions of what they left behind. For some it was the last image they had of what life was like, before all hell broke loose. The images, published originally by Esquire, re-surfaced later, when Hugh Hefner began showing them in Playboy as Vargas Girls. I'll post the rest of 1946, as each month ticks by, and more about the life of Alberto Vargas. For now, this was Miss January, 1946. And next, a shot of two lost lovers.

Lost Lovers

I bought a box of negatives at a flea market. Funny/sad how this stuff escapes the family treasure box. I am not a scholar, but I suppose these kinds of images are before the war. Maybe in the thirties? I spent a few hours in a makeshift darkroom in the bathroom, developing this and a few other negatives. (There's at least a hundred in the box.) More from that box later. Maybe someone can identify these styles of dress. They sit on a stair step next to a fence. Not unusual for a farmer to make little steps up and down from one pasture to the next. Checking on the cows. and the crops. and, keeping them apart. They are all dressed up. But, note his scuffed up shoes. It is clear he has eyes for her. She's all cute, dressed uo, and embarrassed, shy. Probably a Sunday afternoon, after church. But, we don't know, do we? As for the coffee stains at the upper right, and spilling down the page some. Those are mine.


  1. I'm so excited that you've started this site and can't wait to see what else you have to post from your collection.

    Really neat that you developed these negatives on your own in the bathroom. Your readers might enjoy a peek into that process. Hope to see a lot more!

  2. Cool Sam. Yes, Roy and I developed a number of these negatives in a makeshift bathroom dark room. More stuff is coming.

  3. Dan, you know you can now reveal photos from negatives digitedly without using chemicals.

    I too I'm looking forward to seeing more.

  4. Hi Dee, No. I didn't know anything about digitally working with negatives. I'll have to look that up, because I have between 100 -200 of these old large format negatives. The ones I showed here are just a few printed years ago in Roy's bathroom darkroom up on Love Circle.....that long ago!