Beginning with the pin-up’s origins in mid-nineteenth-century carte-de-visite photographs of burlesque performers, Buszek explores how female sex symbols, including Adah Isaacs Menken and Lydia Thompson, fought to exert control over their own images. Buszek analyzes the evolution of the pin-up through the advent of the New Woman, the suffrage movement, fanzine photographs of early film stars, the Varga Girl illustrations that appeared in Esquire during World War II, the early years of Playboy magazine, and the recent revival of the genre in appropriations by third-wave feminist artists. A fascinating combination of art history and cultural history, Pin-Up Grrrls is the story of how women have publicly defined and represented their sexuality since the 1860s.
Maria Elena Buszek is Assistant Professor of Art History at the Kansas City Art Institute and a regular contributor to Bust magazine.
A World Made Sexy examines museum exhibitions, art, books, magazines, films, and television to explore the popular rise of eroticism in America and across the developed world. Starting with a brief foray into the history of pornography, Rutherford goes on to explore a sexual liberation movement shaped by the ideas of Marx and Freud, the erotic styles of Salvador Dali and pop art, the pioneering use of publicity as erotica by Playboy and other media, and the growing concerns of cultural critics over the emergence of a regime of stimulation. In one case study, Rutherford pairs James Bond and Madonna in order to examine the link between sex and aggression. He details how television advertising after 1980 constructed a theatre of the libido to entice the buying public, and concludes by situating the cultivation of eroticism in the wider context of Michel Foucault's views on social power and governmentality, and specifically how they relate to sexuality, during the modern era.
A World Made Sexy is about power and pleasure, emancipation and domination, and the relationship between the personal passions and social controls that have crafted desire.
The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion.
In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.