The Louis F. Dow Calendar Company of Saint Paul, Minnesota commissioned this pristine and rare surviving pin-up painting by Art Frahm for publication in their 1944 calendar line under the title “Pay Off.” The image shows an underdressed, impish redhead having an “oops” moment as she is drenched by the puppy she has just so carefully bathed. This painting is pictured on page of 283 of the recent Taschen volume The Art Of Pin-Up and also appeared in The Great American Pin-Up on page 184 as plate #406. This was previously in the collection of Charles Martignette. It must have been hard for this artist to see his work as printed by Louis F. Dow, as so much of the vibrancy, coloring, and attention to detail was lost in the translation from painting to print. This is quite simply a remarkable pin-up painting.
Frahm is best remembered for his “embarrassment” series of cheesecake images in which gleefully conceived fresh faced young wives trying to make their way through the world found themselves caught with their pants down–so to speak–while boarding buses, dropping off the mail, and even bowling. His name has become synonymous with lighthearted cheesecake, and while the title and situation of this pin-up certainly show why Frahm is considered a master of the genre, this winsome redhead also exudes a level of erotic allure that places this among the finest of Frahm’s offerings.