Friday, February 5, 2010

Second Hand Smokers

The girl in a recent post had such lovely hands that I thought it was time once again to feature them. And so I picked out a few of my favorite poses brandishing Enoch's preferred prop, a cigarette. As many of you well know, Bolles girls had a close relationship with smokes that was evident from the very beginning of his career. His second published magazine cover, an issue of Judge from 1914 featured what else but a girl walking a high wire with a cigarette! ...

While sorting through potential images to use in this post, it dawned on me that virtually every composition I found was different. I hadn't expected that at all because Bolles so often relied on his standard hand poses, namely the extended pinky and "W". At least this was the case when the girls were bare handed. But pass her a smoke and all bets were off. Bolles was no longer content with the norm. A long while back I wrote about the incident where Enoch was dissatisfied with a painting of a girl and cigarette, so much so that he somehow managed to enlist his son-in-law, a certified non-smoker (he was a national champion bicyclist), and get him to hold a pose with a cigarette until Enoch had the precise look he wanted.

Bolles also was a non-smoker though he nothing against doing work for cigarette manufacturers, but for what companies I haven't the faintest whiff. I've seen sketches and paintings of cigarette ads but have yet to find any published examples. However, his best known advertising illustration was cigarette related. He created the Windy girl for Zippo lighters (a story I'll be recounting in an upcoming post). Unfortunately when Zippo reissued the lighter as a collectible in 1993, they called her a "Varga," a slap in the face both to Bolles and Alberto Vargas, who was pressured into signing his work for Esquire as Varga by David Smart, ostensibly because it was more "euphonious" but in reality because the name Vargas was simply too ethnic for him. Plus Smart expropriated the trademark to Varga without Alberto's knowledge...But that's another story.

Though Vargas was a smoker he would allow no cigarette to touch his girls' lips. The same went for Petty, his girls could be in the cigarette ad but the boys had to do the puffing. For Bolles it was a different story. He had long recognized that aside from giving a girl something to do with her hands, the addition of a cigarette lent a certain...air about her.

No comments: