Tess Carey Camera Club Pin Up Model Revealed Rudolph Rossi Sexual Pioneer and Outsider Artist Photographer
UNTITLED ("TESS CAREY") HAND-TINTED ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH
8" X 10" RUDOLPH ROSSI CIRCA 1955
COLLECTION JIM LINDERMAN
As the Rudolph Rossi photographs taken during the Camera Club shoots of the early 1950s will have their first public showing in Santa Fe starting November 4, It is nice to be able to reveal another model's name other than Bettie Page, who if you can't identify by now, you aren't reading this.
Rossi took, developed and hand-tinted four photographs of the model, who I can now identify as Tess Carey, or at least that was the name she was assigned by an editor at Whisper magazine in the May 1953 issue. Here she is, helping another model "plan a crime" when actually the only crime in progress is photographs of women in their lingerie. A typical dopey layout of the time for which I hope the models earned a healthy salary, but I doubt.
A striking women with bangs even more severe than Bettie, she reveals a fresh and uninhibited approach to her modeling...but back then, if you were willing to strip for a bunch of amateur camera buffs, I guess little fazed you. I have had to crop the photos, but the upcoming show and book don't)
Only a few of the some 50 models Rossi hired and photographed have been identified, and that this comes at a time when they are being shown is nice.
I have certainly shilled the story enough, but it would serve me well to recapitulate briefly. During the early 1950s, Jazz musician Cass Carr in Harlem had the brilliant idea to arrange nude camera shoots for aspiring photographers. Bettie Page was discovered in the shoots. As the sessions (from which virtually all modern-day nude and pin up photography can be traced) have never received their proper due, I take every opportunity to broadcast the story. Weegee participated in them as well as a baker's dozen of prominent photographers. The women AND the models were literally risking their freedom at the time. Nude photography in the 1950s was frowned on, especially as the outings were multi-racial (and despite what the censors and prudes at the time wanted you to believe...by all accounts harmless and fun!) Early sexual pioneers on both sides of the camera. Dita Von Teese? Thank these folks for your lucrative career.
As for Rossi, he was an eccentric. Not content to take the photos and spend hours in his darkroom producing them, he took the time to literally hand-paint each and every one in a most meticulous manner. An Outsider artist who seldom went outside!
Anyway, I, and others, have written about him a bit. If you are in the Santa Fe area during the month of November 2011, by all means drop into the Au Boudoir Gallery and browse. It will be most colorful show in a most appropriate place. Bring a date!
They don't make magazines like they used to. Odd that the publisher used two of the "hottest" colors designed to attract the eye...ROAD CONSTRUCTION colors...and yet the eye still drifts to Honey Bee. See Honey Bee appearing before the Supremes HERE
NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN, AND SHE'S LOADED
In this exclusive report, we reveal the secret behind armed pin up girls. Women with weapons and very little clothing. Gals with Gats. The Texas Two-Step Double Armed.
The origin of Pin Ups with a Piece falls directly into Candy Barr's lovely holstered lap. Hailing from the wide open plains of Texas, where a gun was as natural as a spoon to a baby, the baby-faced Candy (one Juanita Slusher) grew up with a grip on the handle. Raped at age 12 and married at age 14 (before she had even bleached her hair) to a safecracker named Billie Joe Debbs. Ahh...pin up glamor.
Texas. Land of Bush and Perry, Ruby and Oswald. The state where Dick Cheney shot his friend in the face. The state where liquor stores carry ammo, and frequently sell them to the same customer. "Will you be drinking and shooting now? Or would you like a bag?"
Once Candy had survived her youth, (and in the process making what is generally considered the very first pornographic film at age 16) it appears the busty (now) blond vowed never to be a victim again. Fully armed, she adopted the stance which would influence naked women on paper for ever...fully packed and loaded!
Soon other pin up models were applying for carry permits. But not in Texas..unnecessary! The shops were practically GIVING away weapons!
So the next time you see a camaflogued cutie with her breasts wrapped in a cartridge belt, combat boots and an automatic weapon, let Candy Barr come to mind. The woman who armed the pin ups.
Their theme song? The heavy rap of Al Dexter ( Clarence Albert Poindexter) another Texan, of course, who wrote "Pistol Packin' Mama"
Don't Mess with Candy EVER AGAIN!
Shown here a bevy of pistol packing pin-ups (ALL FROM TEXAS, I CHECKED!) from the 1960 salesman sample catalog titled "Pin-Ups for Advertising" distributed in Dallas.
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An unusual, uncredited (and previously unknown) gag cartoon drawn by Joe Shuster, co-creator of the Superman character circa 1960. See also HERE on Vintage Sleaze and, of course, Secret Identity by Craig Yoe.
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A most obscure product from the House of Lenny Burtman 1962. Eric Stanton Cover with Inset by Eugene Bilbrew. 64 pages and loaded with drawings by each artist, as well as a self-portrait of Eric Stanton trying to concentrate. I do not believe there was a second issue, but then this one was hard to find, so it is possible. The Fantasy fashions are modeled by Rita De Farge, Juanita Hayes and Pat Benson (as well as some without names) but the real surprise is the Bilbrew "trip around the world" with A space woman, a cowgirl (The Black Bandit) The New Russian Woman, L'Apache (French) an Italian and a "maiden of the Nile" each a full page with a story. Burtman was at the time using the Selbee imprint with an address on Broadway, NYC.
THIS IS NUMBER SEVENTEEN IN THE SERIES 'THE RARE DIGESTS' ON VINTAGE SLEAZE THE BLOG. Small essays on hopelessly obscure and scarce soft-core publications of the 1950s. Enjoy them All!
Please note the following Vintage Sleaze books are now available as Ebooks for the iPad from the links here, each only $5.99
SMUT BY MAIL : VINTAGE GRAPHICS FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF OBSCENITY Pre-dating the sloppy graphics of the punk aesthetic by two decades, the ads, brochures and come-ons of the golden age of mail order smut were produced in basements, attics and print shops after hours. Collector Jim Linderman places the hundreds of images from his archive in the now absurd context of failed obscenity battles and censorship trials of the 1950s and 1960s. Funny now, and dated as well, the book stands as a testament to hopeless attempts at suppression of the forbidden female form…and the lengths to which men would go to glimpse it. Not to mention the politicians to who used censorship for political hay. Jim Linderman’s book Smut by Mail is 160 pages of brochures, advertising samples, vintage graphics and more all “designed” to squeeze a money order out of the average Joe. They worked…BIG time.
Now available as a download ebook for the iPad HERE
CAMERA CLUB GIRLS BETTIE PAGE HER FRIENDS AND THE WORK OF RUDOLPH ROSSI
For over 50 years, the extraordinary Hand-Painted Original Photographs of Bettie Page and nude models of the 1950s taken by Rudolph Rossi lay hidden. Now, for the first time, over 100 have been published in Camera Club Girls by Jim Linderman. 114 pages, 35 pages of text and 180 pictures, the book tells the story of the informal groups of early camera enthusiasts in New York City who paid ten dollars each to photograph naked women, including Bettie Page, in dingy studios and outdoor excursions. As much the history of early erotic photography and Times Square smut as it is the story of the exceptional personal vision of an artist, master photographer and painter which has not been told until now.
Now available as a download ebook for the iPad HERE
Mala Mastroberte is a master, and she has taken the self-portrait where it has not been before. The colorful covers of what once made the magazine racks worth perusing. And THEN some!
Believe it or not, each and every one of the images here are self-portraits of the artist. I would like to be greedy and post more but you can see many others on Mastroberte's website below.
Mastroberte is prolific but meticulous. Her work is not only quite beautiful, it is deep in meaning and seeped in sexuality. That is deep in contemporary art concerns such as self-image, vanity, obsession, role-playing, feminism, the nature of beauty and allure...and seeped in sin and sordidness. Could there be a more appropriate contribution to the Contemporary Vintage Sleaze Series?
Mastroberte does the whole thing. The props, the styling, the photography, the posing, the editing, the source material. Does the piece call for a redhead? A blond? A black eye? Extraordinary as these are, the artist is self-taught and holds a degree in marketing.
Born in Poland, the culture we take for granted (and have been subjected to) over here was completely new to Mastroberte when she arrived 11 years ago. She did have comic books in Poland and remembers them as her first influence. I picture the Poland of a decade or two ago somewhat gray, so you might imagine how the color here would appeal to an artist of her talents...an unlimited palette she has clearly taken advantage of.
I am showing only a bit of her work, and along with the striking "stand-alone" pieces I am also showing some "before and after" pieces to better appreciate her complete submersion into the pretend world of our popular culture past.
The artist does not currently have gallery representation, a situation which in my opinion will not last long...and she has not done much in the way of commercial work. When I saw the work initially, I thought she did commissions for others, so complete is her transformation. But nope...they are all Mala in a fantasy world into which she fits like a glove fetish.
Comparisons to Cindy Sherman come to mind, but Mastroberte was told of her long after she began turning herself into an illustrated glamor girl. I asked. Even what she calls the "doubles" and "multiples" are all the artist. In her statement, Mala talks of the power she feels being "witness and judge, delighted and appalled" from the safety of her own imagination. She intends to appeal to the voyeur and does.
Mala Mastroberte has a WEBSITE HERE and her flickr sites, one for MAGAZINES and one for PAPERBACKS shows much more of her vivid and exciting work.
"Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" is a weekly series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today. All art is copyrighted by the respective creator, distributor or publisher and therefore should not be reproduced WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST. NO cribbing and I ain't fibbing! Each and every post in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series will link to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Cre Hunter, Stephen Adams and more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.
Yes. All Mala Mastroberte
My expensive books are now inexpensive Ebooks! Now available for the iPad at only $5.99.
Pre-dating the sloppy graphics of the punk aesthetic by two decades, the ads, brochures and come-ons of the golden age of mail order smut were produced in basements, attics and print shops after hours. Placing the images in the now absurd context of failed obscenity battles and censorship trials of the 1950s and 1960s the book stands as a testament to hopeless attempts at suppression of the forbidden female form...and the lengths to which men would go to glimpse it. Not to mention the politicians to which it made political hay.
Smut by Mail is 160 pages of brochures, advertising samples, vintage graphics and more all "designed" to squeeze a money order out of the average Joe. They worked...BIG time.
"Legitimate" books are those for which the Library of Congress received two free copies. That is how copyright is established for a book. (It is also a smart way for the nation's library to build their collection) It is also a law, in some states anyway, that books published must show the actual publisher and location where it was printed. These laws are enforced selectively...so that, for example, a mobster printing smut could be found guilty of SOMETHING to keep the magazine racks clean, even if his product did not satisfy the nebulous requirements to be banned as obscene.
Book folk, of which I am one, refer to books not within the system of copyright and above-ground publication as "fugitive literature" when they lack any form of bibliographic control. No Library of Congress number, no ISBN, no indexing and I suppose no "accountability" though I don't think the Constitution had an ISBN number. Or Walden, Common Sense and Leaves of Grass for that matter, but they all do now.
Try to find a copy of Secrets of 42nd Street. I did for a year. I failed! And I hate to fail.
Now this could be for many reasons. Rare? Thrown away? A ruse designed to collect $1.98 from pervs who lived in Podunk? Trust all are quite possible. If any of you actually HAVE a copy, let me borrow it...I need it and my research doesn't depend on any stinking numbers!
I am starting to suspect this book may not have ever existed, nor did the apparent companion volume Secrets of Greenwich Village advertised two pages away. Unless they really were "fugitive" literature and just plain slipped into and out of the system for good.
Claimed author Ted Poole existed...sorta. In addition to the ad copy here (From a 1960 issue of MAN to MAN, a real stinker from Picture Magazines, AKA Volitant Publishing, Adrian Lopez's pulp empire) I have found TWO articles Mr. Poole was responsible for. Ready? "The Lonely Women of Lesbos Island" which ran in Sir magazine in 1959 and "My Life in an Arab Harem" in South Sea Stories 1962. For all I know Ted was their staff writer, or as the copy claims their "famous adventure writer" as Sir isn't too well indexed either. Though it did spew fiction as fact for a long time.
So having established, almost, that Ted Poole existed, even if in pseudo anonymous form...you would think I could find a copy of the books. Nope. I'm not sure how carefully MAN to MAN checked their advertisers, but we might assume they didn't at all...so maybe this mail drop was a ruse and your money order crossed the bridge into Brooklyn only in turn to be loan-sharked back to some other looser in Queens. Or maybe the book was literally one mimeographed page...just enough to satisfy the price.
Whatever. I'm intrigued by the ad copy here and I need the book for my OWN book I am writing which WILL have a LC number and an ISBN. So if you have one, let me know. I'll even go the $1.98 but I'd prefer a real address, not a PO Box. I really, really need this book to strip it for content and then make fun of it.
I already know "where you can go for a cheap drink, when you're short" (The Landmark Tavern on Tenth Avenue and 46th...they waved me away once after three bourbons) and I also know what the ladies of the night "want..and how to outwit them" but that stays with me.
Seriously, if you know of a copy, share?
Jim Linderman is writing "TIMES SQUARE SMUT" which tells the story of a few rouges who changed the world by publishing illegal soft-core digests during the 1950s.
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You know things are going to get dicey when researching an establishment and the first thing which comes up is an article opening with "The once proud..." Urban decline usually means strip clubs, I'm afraid, and the Park Theater in Youngstown was no exception.
However, according to one "wolfgirl500" who is seemingly the expert on the Park, there was a WORSE Park Theater called "The NEW Park Theater" which was run by mobsters and "burned down by a disgruntled performer!" Now THAT is the one I'm really interested in, but since my ephemera here is apparently from the "legitimate" theater which ran porn movies and featured "Busty Russell" I'll have to work with this one.
There were several "Champagne Girls" including a fairly famous one from New Orleans named Rita Alexander. This ain't her. Rita had a blond bouffant and you can see her down a few drinks on YouTube. Our Champagne Girl here seems stuck in the Bettie Page bangs era, but there is no date on the card.
Whenever the card reads "EXCLUSIVE APPEARANCE" you can be sure the performer will be stripping "exclusively" down the road next weekend at another dump. Sorta like when you read on a product label "NEW, IMPROVED" but the stuff inside is the same, only the box and logo are improved.
There was also a woman informally named "The Champagne Girl" who worked for Lawrence Welk, one Alice Lon...who was HELD HOSTAGE, FORCED TO STRIP and had nude photographs taken of her! This happened in 1955, and it isn't funny. Sheesh! I guess the moral of that true story is one should avoid the use of the name Champagne girl...it's asking for trouble.
A few observations about THIS Champagne Girl? Well first of all you can see her hoisted champagne tankard is nearly as big as her waist. I'm not sure that is healthy.
You can see the "live shows" went on practically all day. On weekends, Miss Champagne had to disrobe 6 times! I am going to hope she nursed that drink, or her 1:00 am performance might have gotten a bit sloppy.
Note "amateur night" every few weeks? That was the sleazy practice of using locals who weren't in the union and paying them nothing. Often they were hookers who did it to attract clients. Sorry, you "glamor of burlesque" folks...it happened. To be fair, were there a few legitimate "amateurs" who wanted to get up there and see if they had what it took to be a star? Um, no. Sorry.
Also of interest here is the use of alliteration (Lydia Love) which frequently means a show girl (or in the case of double L initials, you want to make it with Superman.) You can also be assured there are lots of strippers with the fake last name of Bardot, and that they all have a first name starting with B.
"Busty Russell" is shown on the reverse...Let's just say her career is sagging, if you know what I mean. She was still a $7.00 performer instead of a $6.00 performer, but if gravity kept on working, that might not have been the case for too much longer.
Was there glamorous burlesque? I don't think so. It was hard, sleazy work for the performers, who lived out of trunks (and no, living out of a trunk was NOT glamorous, no matter how many show biz histories you see in the movies) who were often stiffed by the management (who often had guns and were frequently "connected" and paid off the cops) and the joints were smoky and full of drunken pigs. To my way of thinking, that is like looking for glamour in Hell.
Park Theatre "table card" with The Champagne Girl. No date (circa 1970?) Collection Victor Minx.
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French photographer Roland Carre had a long relationship with Leonard Burtman, apparently selling him photos for decades. This polka-dot pair of Parisian Pegs was the cover of Exotica Issue Number 1, an undated Burtman slick, but possibly from as late as 1967. The model is Lila Marais.
Exotica Issue No. 1 Collection Victor Minx
HAW HAW! HYUCK! Wallet Size "Gag Cards" for the fellas! I suppose a few found their way over to the girls sitting in the gin-mill. "Watch this, Butch! Fred's gonna show the girls his card!" SNICKER! I reckon the girls have seen them all. For similar mistakes, see the elephant HERE.
Pair of "Big Boy" Joke Cards, circa 1940 and 1955 Collection Victor Minx
NOTE: Camera Club Girls: Bettie Page, her Friends and the Work of Rudolph Rossi is now available in an EBOOK for the IPAD for only $5.99 DOWNLOAD HERE NOW