Pin-Up Model Bunny Yeager Captures Herself And Bettie Page In Intimate, Alluring Photographs

Self Portrait in Black Lingerie with Camera and Mirror, 1955

Self Portrait in Black Lingerie with Camera and Mirror, 1955

Bettie Page Reclining on Sofa at Coral Gables, FL, 1954

Bettie Page Reclining on Sofa at Coral Gables, FL, 1954

Self Portrait in Polka Dot Bikini with Rolleicord Camera, 1963

Self Portrait in Polka Dot Bikini with Rolleicord Camera, 1963

 

Original personal and behind the scenes photographs of infamous pin-up models Bettie Page and Bunny Yeager are now on view at the art gallery Gavlak, in Los Angeles as part of the exhibit How I Photograph Myself. You may think this is a strange title, but it actually refers to a book that Bunny Yeager herself wrote during her lifetime. Born in 1929, Yeager was not only a wildly successful pin-up model, but also a photographer herself who very often took her own photographs. She came into modeling after meeting actress Bettie Page shortly after studying photography at Lindsay-Hopkins Technical College. Bettie Page asked Bunny Yeager to photograph her, and Yeager eventually began modeling herself. She was not only an accomplished photographer and model, but also a scriptwriter and author, publishing How to Photograph Nudes and How I Photograph Myself, hence the exhibition title. These books went on to influence such well-known photographers as Cindy Sherman and Diane Arbus.

What is so interesting about these photographs, besides the obvious appeal and seductiveness of the pin-up style clothing and curvy women, is that Bunny Yeager was able to become so successful both as the photographer and model; the artist and the muse. Her femininity and beauty was laid out on a silver platter as a model, yet she could be taken seriously in a time when men dominated almost any scene. To portray yourself in such a sexual way and also sought after as a woman in your craft would still be an accomplishment today, let alone in the 1940s and 50s. Bunny Yeager was able to work against the traditional male gaze, and create her own photographic style that is both delicate and alluring. How I Photograph Myself will be on view at Gavlak from July 25th to August 29th.

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Don Brown’s Sculptures And Photographs Of His Muse

For his recent show at Almine Rech Gallery Don Brown  has produced his sculptures at a scale that is significantly larger than usual. Questions of scale are essential in the long process involved in the preparation of these works. The artist initially fashions a detailed clay maquette that will serve as the prototype for a much larger cast. Following enlargement and refining, the sculptures are then produced in either acrylic composite or bronze, but also, although rarely, in silver. The making takes several months, and the pieces are finally covered in a layer of gesso.

For years now Don Brown has been photographing his sculptures against a white background in daylight in order to document his work and bring out elements. By enlarging the prints, he gradually discovered in the flat representation of a volume a certain autonomy that is both powerful and subtle: “It’s as if everything is concentrated in a single view and the surface is uninterrupted” (D.B.).

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