Olivia de Berardinis is one of America’s greatest living Pin-Up artist. She is undoubtedly the most popular artist among the ever growing fans of the genre. Prevalence of Pin Up as an art form is in part due to the acceptance of burlesque as a popular performance art form courtesy of internationally celebrated stars such as Dita von Teese not to mention the craze of HBO’s fabulously successful series Mad Men. Resistance to include Pin Up in the canon of traditional art history is another matter that I will be exploring in greater depth in a forthcoming project – so, stay tuned!
Playboy’s artist in residence, OLIVIA – as she is simply referred to by her (quite seriously!) adoring fans - has been creating highly erotic and distinctly elegant images for well over four decades. If imitation is the best form of flattery, then her creations are the most copied among the fans of 1950′s Americana cultural revivalism. Indeed, several years ago during a Rockabilly event in Las Vegas, a number burlesque performers and tattoo artists told me that OLIVIA’s paintings, especially those of Bettie Page, comprise the most emulated, desired & desirable images.
Earlier this year, she published Malibu Cheescake which includes 100 new paintings, drawings and designs… as well as interviews with Hugh Hefner, Dita von Teese and Margaret Choo. Today, her much anticipated annual OLIVIA & Bettie Page Calendars (2012-13) are released to satisfy the appetite of tens of thousands of fans around the world who may not be able to afford to acquire or commission one of her portraits … a la Pamela Anderson or Ms. von Teese.