Monday, December 03, 2007

Sunday Gallery: Big top Barbarellas

Dolce vita pin-ups and spaghetti circus

In the postwar Italy, the Vatican influence was balanced by different entertainments: the the “avanspettacolo” burlesque revues; the innocent sexy movies; or illustrated pulp adult fairy tales .

This atmosphere rooted some of the world’s greatest movie poster illustrators, as Marcello Colizzi and Renato Casaro, later celebrated for materializing spaghetti-western and Hollywood classics. Those artists celebrated female body in a graphic burlesque school, that soon landed under the big top.

In the early 70s, erotic pulp was spreading from newsstands windows and cinema marquees. So, italian circus impresarios left behind clown portraits, candid horses and smiling majorettes.
On the exemple of the movies, the sawdust posters got spicy: roaring wild beasts merged with space-age whip-equipped virgins ; the italian imagery of the circus became symbolized by audacious jungle amazon women; stretched giant legs were absurdly surrounded by skating penguins, and indian squaws promenaded on elephants.

The style soon propagated overall Europe, with a banal plagiarism still poorly emulated today.

Our collection benefits of some of those erotica extravaganzas designed by Colizzi and Casaro (later famous for glorify Rambo, Conan or James Bond).

So, we celebrates today the golden era of the spicy sawdust spaghetti circus dreams.

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