Alumnus channels pin-up art, paints celebrities for exhibition and book

Alumnus Paul Richmond (CCAD ’02) literally caught celebrities Perez Hilton, Jesse Archer, Mike Ruiz, and James St. James with their pants down (with their permission, of course!) for his upcoming Cheesecake Boy exhibition.

“Via e-mail and phone conversations, they all helped me concoct their own personalized pin-up predicaments,” said Richmond in a recent interview with Columbus Underground. “And then they supplied me with hilariously compromising photo references to help illustrate the concepts. I kept them updated as their paintings progressed, and they offered suggestions along the way.”

Richmond said that inspiration for this project came from his fascination with pin-up art from the 40s and 50s. “It was a more innocent time (at least on the surface), and I love the elaborate scenarios that artists like Gil Elvgren and Art Frahm concocted in order to justify disrobing their subjects,” said Richmond in the interview. “A loose nail, a doorknob, or a brisk wind would all work in a pinch, resulting in hapless models accidentally exposing their unmentionables. I’m interested in exploring how gender roles were reinforced by these artistic expressions of sexuality.”

Illustration, "Cheesecake Boys" by Paul Richmond

Richmond explains how pin-up models inspired his collection in his book "Cheesecake Boys."

Paintings from the exhibition have been used in his recent book, Cheesecake Boys: The Pin-Up Art of Paul Richmond, available for purchase on Etsy. The show opened Dec. 2 in downtown Columbus at the Luxboheme Showroom.

Read the entire interview at Columbus Underground. For more information about Richmond, visit his website.

This post was included in the spring 2011 issue of IMAGE Magazine.