This deliriously posed nude Follies girl blowing bubbles by the prolific American illustrator Earle K. Bergey was created for the August 1933 cover of La Paree Stories, loosely illustrating the interior story Parisienne Gaiety. A sexy redhead with flaming hair is seen in profile with the bold figural outline that was Bergey's artistic signature. A suggestive and erotic artwork with playful pre-code style, this is a Bergey girl for the ages, with charismatic art deco allure, painted in bold blocks of color with snappy jazz-age modernist graphics. Perhaps the finest spicy pulp cover painting we have offered for sale.
The artist is perhaps best known for painting the celebrated cover art of Anita Loos' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Earle K. Bergey was a prolific American illustration artist painting covers for a diversity of magazines and paperback books, and was very much in demand during the 1930s spicy pulp boom, contributing cover art such as this work to numerous titles such as La Paree Stories, Pep Stories, Gay Book Magazine, Snappy, and Tattle Tales. In the 1940s, Bergey added science fiction and fantasy art to his body of work, including covers for Captain Future, Startling Stories, and Thrilling Wonder Stories. Often dubbed the "inventor of the brass brassiere," for his covers of scantily clad women menaced by monsters in space, Bergey is seen to have inspired visual culture, especially film, with his memorable, humanizing compositions of cosmic conflict.
Raised in Philadelphia, PA, Earle K. Bergey attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the 1920s. He worked for the Philadelphia Public Ledger after which time he produced covers for the Fiction House line of pulp magazines. By the mid 1930s and with relationships well established with leading publishing houses, Bergey settled in historic Bucks County, PA.
Earle K. Bergey worked as a freelance illustrator for competing publishing houses throughout the 1930s. His provocative paintings were featured on a diversity of publications from risque pin-up magazines and widely circulated pulp magazines to standard periodicals including The Saturday Evening Post.
It is not unusual for Bergey's unsigned pin-up art to be falsely attributed to other artists, such as Enoch Bolles, even though Bergey's treatment of flesh and the female figure makes his work uniquely recognizable.