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vargas girls    Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chavez was born in Arequipa (Peru) in 1896. He studied art in Europe before the outbreak of the Great War and in 1916 he moved to the USA where he worked at Ziegfeld Follies and different Hollywood studios. In 1940, he became famous as a result of his drawings in his "Vargas Girls" section of Esquire magazine. Vargas thus became the creator of what would be later so famously known as the "pin-up girl".
Many of his drawings decorated the noses of many WWII American fighter and bomber planes. The artist lost a legal dispute with Esquire magazine over the use of the name "Vargas". He was in financial dire straits until 1960 when Playboy obtained the rights to "Vargas Girls" and offered him a job with them. This was the beginning of his second golden age and his work once again became famous all over the word. His work always showcased beautiful desirable women. Vargas' girls are deeply erotic yet they retain a definite elegance. His finely-honed style was a mixture watercolours and airbrushing. Nobody else could hold a candle to him in those days and there are not many these days who have attained his level of technique. It's no coincidence that the most important airbrushing prize in the world today is called the Ā«Vargas Prize". In 1974, his wife Anna Mae passed away and such was his grief that he gave up painting. This situation remained unchanged until he himself died of a heart attack in 1982.