Sunday, March 8, 2009

In Tribute of Barbie: Enoch Bolles Style

So Barbie turns 50 today! I thought this Bolles girl from 1936 showed a bit in common with some of the classier Barbie incarnations, or maybe it's the other way around. I even found a Barbie on the Mattel web site that was a close match but when I tried to download her, boy did the warnings about copyrights pop up. What a joke, as if there aren't a million Barbie Doll images on the internet to choose from (actually there are one million, one hundred-ninety thousand).

Both Barbie and the Bolles girl have been criticized by some for their cartoonish and sexist depictions of women. They both have also been put through more costume changes than than Imelda Marcos had shoes. But as unreal (perhaps the word should be ideal) as the Bolles girl may appear there really is no comparison. By some calculations if Barbie were blown up to full height here measurements would be 39-19-33!


Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

I love Bolles' bold and brassy style in general, but these more sedate, sophisticated poses and expressions steal my heart.

On a separate note, was there any connection, or was it rivalry, between Bolles and George Quintana? Many times I don't think I could tell their work apart in a lineup, and I've spent a lifetime scrutinizing artistic styles.

Jack R said...

Hi Thomas,
I also enjoy Bolles in repose! As far as Quintana, his entire pulp career was supported by swiping Bolles, sometimes body part by body part, other times by copying in entire cover (I've shown a few examples a few posts back). It even got to the point to where the editors of Film Fun sued Movie Humor (who Quintana worked for), but to no avail. I'm planning a post on Quintana (not even his real name) as he was a very interesting character who popularlized an entire genre of cover art in the 1950s. The easiest way to tell Quintana's work is by checking the girl's hands. Quintana had a hard time with hands and to me they look like chubby squids.

Li-An said...

Another beautiful painting. Thank you.

Jack R said...

Glad you like her!