Not bad for a Kiwi! Edward “Ted” Withers was born in New Zealand but returned to England to study art at the Royal Academy in London. Eventually he moved to Paris to study at the Académie Julian. World War One interrupted his art; Withers was decorated three times while he was a soldier. Then he went to Hollywood in 1924.
While painting award winning landscapes for his own pleasure Withers did about everything an artist can do in Hollywood from supervising the trick and miniature department and Universal Studios to being the Art Director and MGM.
Rolf Armstrong considered Withers “one of Americans greatest, most versatile painters” and Gil Elvgren added “One of the best photographers in the country.” The three men had been chatting with Norman Rockwell at a Brown and Bigelow cocktail party in 1950.
“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” – Jessica Rabbit
There’s something special about pin-up art. They’re idealized images that are erotic without being graphic. A pin-up is a throwback to a simpler time when a bit of art could be a motivator and not just another X rated click. Arguably pin-ups objectify women but it’s just as true that it’s an art form embraced by modern women who feel empowered by Bad Girl Art. Rockabilly chic, Suicide Girls, Dita Von Teese; The pin-up is out there and alive in performances, photography, fashion music and tattoos.