The First Glimpse of Venus


“The First Glimpse of Venus”, oil on canvas, 72h x 52″w

This piece of American Icon Fashion is dedicated to all the young men and old, most especially of my generation, who as young boys had no access to images of beautiful naked women. So sneakily we peeked in magazines in luncheonettes and candy stores trying to figure out what all those differences meant.

I had a sister, so if you were like me there wasn’t “Playboy” or “Esquire” in the house but there was “Seventeen”, “Mademoiselle”and “Glamour”. On special occasions, when the seasonal introduction issue came out, there was a “Harper’s Bizarre”, or “Vogue” magazine. These were the women I looked at. And when with young friends in a candy store who tried to smuggle a “Playboy” under their jacket and out the door, I tried for Vogue. I was never too successful with the magazines. But the allure of those women, gorgeous, secretive, statuesque mannequin-like, unattainable, that stuck.

So back at home and with access to my sister’s and mother’s magazines, which were always full of ads for ladies undergarments, I don’t think then anyone women wore “underwear”, I would flip page, after page, after page.

Opening a lingerie drawer at home, or with a friend at his home, and carefully pulling the handles so they didn’t make noise and then looking at those devices and smelling the perfume could send an 11 year old into a hypnotic trance.

For me the  entrée into the world of the opposite sex, were these images and the erotic element they played and evoked, that were unknowingly left by our mothers and sisters to see.

“The First Glimpse of Venus” is therefore an homage to all those images and a young boys first admission that something could be more fun to look at and play then baseball. It still is.