This is the gorgeous vintage art by illustrator Mike Ludlow. While Ludlow met with some success doing illustration for fashion and advertising, it was really his pinups that were his biggest hit. Gracing the covers of pulp fiction books, smutty magazines, auto mechanic’s calendars, and lounge matchbox covers, he certainly had friends in some pretty low places, but that didn’t stop his art from being gorgeous. He was even responsible for painting Esquire Magazine’s last ever pinup calendar in 1957.
Ludlow explored a few themes in his pinup art that annoy me. He had a real thing for voyeurism. Also, he appeared to have gotten the idea that young women are barely covered most of the time, which I can tell you from personal experience is false. When young women are alone together, it’s more sweatpants and ramen than negligees and pillow fights. Whether his wrong ideas were a result of wishful thinking or delusion, he nonetheless knew his way around a woman’s body, and created some truly lovely paintings. While I do think he was probably a first class creep, I also have to admire his talent.