LECTURING ON THE SUBJECT
In my teaching career it was a constant delight to parade pin-ups and other sexual imagery in some spurious framework that confounded the feminists in the audience, and disappointed the perves. At Norwich from 1971 I had developed a reputation for Smutty Lectures, "It's all he can do... him with his PhD." Many of my colleagues clung desperately to a small number of prepared lectures loaded onto the slide carousel that had seen them through several decades.
1. Sunsets in my camera
2. The East Anglian Landscape in paint and ink
3. High Art and Low Art , dramatic contrasts.
How could this dreary old tosh stand up against my record breaking lectures, The Penis in Art, and The Enema as Erotic Theatre?
I do admire the considerable drawing abilities demonstrated by such artists as Vargas and Petty, in distilling the female form into a set of mechanical articulations. Each artist established a branded image to which they adhered closely in the Feminine Ideal. The objectification of the Object of Lust is no bad thing in the Theatre of Allure. Sometimes, less essential aspects of the drawing, such as the room and furniture shrink to mere outline as the sleekness of flesh supervenes. Who wants details of the sofa when the Pin Up is about thighs? Probably Ingres, now I think it through.
AN EDITORIAL DESIGN NOTE
The device of the Gatefold is a delight - the page tucked fiercely into the gutter which, when prised loose and peeled back, revealed the horizontally deployed woman, be it photographically, in the form of Jane Russell in The Outlaw, or in the artwork of Al Moore's Welcome Home. Norman Petty's woman in blue evening gown goes one with better with her double gate fold. "Think more about the dynamics of the page and the revelation of content... " I remember asking an audience, and noting the tiny gimlet eyes glittering back at me in the darkness.
FURTHER REFERENCES AND POSSIBILITIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
There are just too many books on the subject. What was once an anthology is now a monograph on some little known Kentucky airbrush man across several volumes. Well fine, says I. No bad thing. At one stage after the re-validation of the MA Narrative course at Brighton Stuart Laing asked me what new academic initiative I had in mind. An "MA in Glamour" seemed a great proposition but seemed to elicit little favour.
"Equal opportunities," I added gamely. "Beefcake and Cheese Cake."
Stuart was unmoved. Perhaps my teaching career would have taken a wholly different and more exciting direction had he responded to the clear potential of this ground-breaking post-graduate proposition.
An "MA in Glamour" still has legs. Think of the booklist, the field research, the theoretical constructs.
I urge you to take the torch from my failing hand.