Mafalda

(Last Updated On July 20, 2022)

First of all, I would like to apologize for not publishing this sooner. One thing after another keeps cropping up and I never seem to get to reviewing an author’s work. At the time, Quino (the artist in question) had just died so I feel bad that I didn’t get to it in a timely manner. Interestingly, Google did feel the man was important enough to commemorate with a Google banner. -Ron

Azul Portillo – Google Doodle: Quino’s 90th Birthday (July 17, 2022)

Quino – Mafalda

Today [30 September 2020] I woke up with very sad news. Mr. Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, better know as Quino passed away, at the age of 88, in his home country Argentina.

In the year 1964, Quino made a comic strip about a little girl that challenged society. The comic ran for only 9 years, but that was enough time to make Argentina, as well as many other countries, fall in love with this little girl and her shenanigans.
Mafalda was initially planned to serve in advertisements for the “Mansfield” product line for the Siam Di Tella company, but quickly became it’s own independent idea. A local newspaper also offered to publish it with the advertisements removed, but in the end Quino decided to publish his strip in the magazine Primera Plana.

Quino – Mafalda Comic (1964)

Mafalda:  But… Why do I have to do it?
Mom: Because it’s an order and I’m your mother!
Mafalda: If it’s a matter of titles, I’m your daughter!
And we graduated the same day, no?!

The first strip was published on 29 September 1964, one day and 56 years before Quino’s passing.

The comic moved to the newspaper El Mundo just one year later, but the newspaper shut down in December of 1967. The next year the weekly Siete Días Illustrados resumed the publication until the strip concluded on 25 June 1973.

The comic was a mirror of Argentinian middle class and progressive youth during that time period, but at the same time touched topics that are still of concern today, like world peace, communism, capitalism and the way society operates.

Quino – Mafalda – See no Evil

Mafalda is an innocent but critical 6-year-old, very concerned with the state of human kind. She very often poses questions or makes observations about serious or mature topics that adults are unable to answer. She hates soup—which is a running gag in the strips—sometimes used metaphorically for different topics. She’s also a big Beatles fan.
She has a younger brother, Guille, who in contrast loves soup! He’s also a troublemaker and, like his sister, also has the tendency to bring complicated topics from an even more innocent point of view.

Mafalda’s parents are a regular middle-class young couple. Her mom is a housewife—very common for that time in Argentina—and her father works as an insurance agent. Both try to avoid Mafalda’s tough questions about adulthood, work, society and school.

Quino – Mafalda’s Friends

Mafalda also has friends who appear in the comics. One is Manolito whose family owns an almacén (a type of traditional shop), called Don Manolo, and usually represents the capitalist point of view. He loves soup and hates The Beatles. He’s always trying to make money.

Felipe is the oldest member of the gang. He’s a bit lazy and also a dreamer, very often worried about school. He loves to play and likes The Beatles.

Susanita is a very, very girly child; she loves gossip and other stereotypical female traits of the period. She dreams of becoming a mother and a housewife one day which usually leads to arguments with Mafalda.

Libertad—which means freedom in Spanish—is a really short girl, the same age as Mafalda, but shorter than Guille. She’s the most political and radical of the children, often touching upon even more complicated topics than Mafalda. She was the last character to be added to the strips. All the children’s parents are secondary characters in some strips.

Estatua (Mafalda statue)

In the year 1972, one year before the strips ended, Mafalda was developed into an animated series. Running for 52 short episodes. The show was very popular and aired in multiple countries including Spain.

In the year 1976, Argentina was ruled by a military dictatorship; but even in that hard political climate, a Mafalda movie was developed. It was released in 1981.

The last time Mafalda was animated was in the year 1993, with a short series titled Mafalda Animada; it was just a collection of strips turn into shorts.

Quino worked on over 20 different books and comics, but Mafalda became his best-known work. You can still see his legacy to this day in and all the generations Mafalda has touched.

The Propaganda Photographs of Silvino Santos

(Last Updated On July 10, 2022)

Silvino Simões Santos Silva was born in Portugal in 1886, and emigrated to Brazil in his youth. He began his career as a photographer and painter in Manaus, Brazil in 1911. Silvino Santos is most famous as a cinematographer filming documentaries about the Amazon region. He filmed No País das Amazonas in 1922. Theodor Koch-Grunberg’s explorations in South America were chronicled in Silva’s 1924 film No Rastro do Eldorado.

Santos was also a photographer of high repute, and early in his career, Julio César Arana commissioned Santos to film and photograph a very important inspection of his rubber production operations in the Putumayo River basin of Peru. Rubber was becoming much in demand during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Amazon rainforest was the main source of rubber at that time. Peruvian Amazon Company, owned by Julio César Arana, was one of the largest rubber companies. People would go out into the rainforest to find and tap rubber trees, then the latex would be brought to company outposts.

Silvino Santos – Una Mujer y su Hija (1912)

Local indigenous tribes were the only source of labor for collecting latex, and since most people would not voluntarily perform such hard labor for the low compensation, the tribes were captured and enslaved. Workers who did not return their quota of latex were beaten and tortured. Some Indians fought back, but were no match for the superior armament of the rubber companies. Some fled to the most remote parts of the rainforest. It is rumored that their descendants are still living in these remote areas, in tribes that still avoid any contact with the outside world. Over 30,000 Indians were killed in the Putumayo region alone. Julio Arana was responsible for mass murder, but he didn’t care as long as the profits kept rolling in.

Profits were threatened when reports of the atrocities in Amazonia reached Great Britain and the United States. These countries could put diplomatic pressure on Peru to stop the Peruvian Amazon Company. Stuart J. Fuller, United States Consul in Manaus; and George B. Mitchell, British Consul in Manaus, were dispatched to Peru on a joint mission to inspect the Peruvian Amazon Company operations in the Putumayo region in 1912. They would be accompanied by Carlos Rey de Castro, the Peruvian Consul and friend of Julio Arana. Rey de Castro hired Silvino Santos to be the expedition’s official photographer and make sure that the photos did not reflect negatively on the Peruvian Amazon Company.

Silvino Santos – El Capitán Francisco y sus Mujeres (1912)

Santos took over 200 photographs, of which 187 were chosen by Carlos Rey de Castro and Julio César Arana to be put in an album titled El Album de fotografias tomadas en Viage de la Comisión Cónsular al Rio Putumayo y afluentes-Agosto á Octubre 1912. At the time, this album was widely distributed in an attempt to refute the charges against the Peruvian Amazon Company. About a hundred years later, a single surviving copy was discovered and published on the internet here. Some of the photos include young girls, and are on-topic for Pigtails.

The first photo in this article shows a cute little girl standing beside her mother, who is seated. The caption of this photo, which was written in English, states “The husband of the lady sitting was eaten by the Boras.” Sympathy is intended for the little girl who lost her father, and the woman who lost her husband to the “savage wild Indian cannibals”. Showing how the good people of the rubber company brought the blessings of civilization to the Indians is a theme of the album. The Boras are of the Huitoto (aka Witoto) stock. They did not routinely practice cannibalism, but at times sought to gain courage from an enemy warrior by eating his flesh.

Silvino Santos – Parejas de Indios Jóvenes (1912)

Next is a photo of a Huitoto chief and his two wives. Santos posed them with interlocking arms, looking directly at the camera with dignified expressions. This was hoped to be seen as an example of the healthy, happy Indians working for the rubber company. No photo of anybody with scars from beatings will be in the album. Note that one of the wives was a child bride, a topic covered in a Pigtails article here.

Muchachos de Confianza (Trustworthy Boys) and their wives are the subject of the next photo. This is much like the previous photo. Indians employed by the Peruvian Amazon Company are dignified and healthy. At least half of the wives are too young for marriage by our standards. Females are in the front, perhaps because it was thought that nude females are more photogenic than the males. Muchachos de Confianza were Indian quislings who cooperated with the company to oppress others. When there were reports of abuse that could not be denied, Julio Arana attributed it to the excessive zeal of the Muchachos de Confianza.

Silvino Santos – Dos Matrimonios de Funuñas (1912)

The next photo, of two married couples, was meant to show Indians treated well by the rubber company, same as the previous two photographs. Another similarity to the previous photos is that the girls appear to be too young to be wives. Perhaps Silvino Santos emphasized adolescent girls and young women because he felt they would attract the most attention, and thus best serve the purpose of propaganda photographs.

Silvino Santos – Indios Jóvenes (1912)

Indios Jóvenes is the title given the next photo, even though the subjects are all female. Carlos Rey de Castro refers to them as “indias” in his note on the photo. Rey de Castro, in the note, asks why Mitchell (the British Consul) described the girls as “weak”. Rey de Castro asks if it could be because of their lack of modesty.

Silvino Santos – Huitotas Civilizadas (1912)

Huitotos Civilizadas is the title of the last photo by Santos in this article. The women and girls are shown as respectable civilized people like us, all because of the benefits provided by Julio César Arana and the Peruvian Amazon Company. Clothing in this photo seems to be fancy dress freshly laundered and put on for the photograph. The Huitoto tribes in the area did later adopt western-style clothing, but everyday dress was less formal than shown here.

Amazon Yanayacu Lodge – Familia de Nativos (circa2021)

Today, even many missionaries do not insist on western clothing. In the warm very humid rainforest climate, clothing that is not frequently changed and laundered provides a breeding place for bacteria and fungus that can adversely affect the health of the wearer. Today the Huitoto wear clothing like White Peruvians (estilo criollo), but some tribes in tourist areas have devised a new “Indian style” that they wear when tourists visit. The last photo shows 21st century Boras dressed tourist style. This is the same tribe that allegedly ate the husband of the woman in the first photo.

Eva Ionesco

(Last Updated On July 11, 2022)

Most of those familiar with the history of children in art have likely heard of the initial shock and controversy surrounding the young model Eva Ionesco. As a blog that seeks to explore the female child as she relates to art in all its forms, we would be remiss if we did not address Eva, despite the controversy. While we will be briefly covering her history in this post, there are some ethical questions that need to be addressed, and I shall attempt to do so in an unbiased and respectful manner.

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (1)

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (2)

French photographer Irina Ionesco was well known for her unique style of mixing gothic and eroticism. Her works often included nude models in darkly-lit rooms with seemingly random objects strewn about. But she shocked the art world when she began photographing her daughter in similar scenarios. Irina began photographing Eva when she was only 5 years old in different states of dress. While there were some nudes from that time period, most of the photographs that are considered among the most controversial came about a little later. As she approached the age of 10, the nudes became more prominent and took on some heavy sexual undertones. Ionesco faced both praise and criticism, particularly with the release of her first book called Eva: In Praise of my Daughter. This, like many of her other publications included photographs of Eva in addition to several other models.

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (3)

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (4)

Eva’s fame quickly skyrocketed as other photographers requested to use her in their photoshoots, most often in the nude. This includes an extensive portfolio entitled Eva, shot by French photographer Jacques Bourboulon when she was 11. His photos offer a stark contrast to Irina’s stylistically speaking, as most of them are vibrant and take place on a beach near his villa. Yet they turned out to be no less explicit. In 1976, a small collection of these photographs appeared in a very controversial issue of the Italian version of Playboy Magazine, making her the youngest model ever to appear in said publication. A year later, Penthouse would be the second major publication to publish photos of Eva, this time from one of Irina’s later collections. Both of these publications have since acknowledged that her inclusion in these issues may have been a mistake, as certain governments began censoring them.

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (5)

She has since appeared in countless minor publications. In the months following, Eva’s career expanded to the silver screen, where she appeared in films like Puppy Love, and The Tenant, the former of which is banned in several countries under child pornography laws. It should be noted that in her pre-teen years, Eva has always looked older than she actually was as by this age her breasts were already prominent and she had a significant amount of pubic hair, which some have speculated could explain the level of intrigue her photos received from adult males.

Jacques Bourboulon – (Untitled) (1)

Jacques Bourboulon – (Untitled) (2)

Eva’s career as a nude model ended shortly thereafter when she was removed from her mother’s custody. She continued to appear in minor publications and television spots until she would re-emerge in the early 2000s to show the world the damage her mother had caused her, even going as far as to file a lawsuit against her. This laid bare the feud that existed between her and her mother in decades previous. With the help of her husband, Eva wrote a book entitled Innocence (2019) in which she details how demanding and insistent her mother was, particularly regarding the nude photography sessions. Today, the two are not on speaking terms, and only communicate through their lawyers.

Eva’s story is important to understand, particularly when it comes to the topic of children in art. It makes us ask where is the oftentimes blurred line between art and exploitation? It is hard to say whether or not Irina Ionesco was attempting to exploit her daughter for personal gain. However, she has described her mother as “demanding and abusive” many times in the books she has published. Censorship also needs to be addressed, and whether or not these adult magazines should have practiced more discretion when deciding whether or not to feature Eva as one of their models. On a personal note, I find it interesting that she is not smiling in the vast majority of her mother’s photos. Many critics, including those who vehemently oppose artistic censorship, find Irina’s photos Irina lacking in taste.

Another consideration that should be raised is that when photographing a child in the nude, one must do so keeping in mind how the child may feel about these photographs leading into adulthood, and how it may affect their lives. Some models, like Samantha Gates and her brother are proud of their past works, and enjoy the fame it has brought them. but this is not always the case. While reading the books Eva has published, it is clear that she wishes her past would simply fade into obscurity. She is resentful of Irina for turning her into an “object of lust”.

Regardless of whether or not one finds the photographs of Eva tasteful, or the opinion of the model herself, it is important that these photographs be seen, if for no other reason than to provoke an open dialogue about topics such as censorship, exploitation, and potential ramifications certain actions could have in time. Whatever your opinion on these issues may be, Eva’s book Innocence is definitely worth reading in order to grasp her personal feelings regarding her past. She also directed a movie called My Little Princess (2011), which explores the complex relationship between her and her mother. I have purposely left my allusions to these works broad in order to avoid spoiling it for those who wish to see for themselves.

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (6)

Maiden Voyages: July 2022

(Last Updated On July 2, 2022)

Registered Users: Since it has been necessary to restrict certain images to protect the site from complaints from people unaccustomed to our subject matter, as of today, there are 200 registered users with full access to the site in addition to a handful of site editors and administrators.

Yahoo Account Holders: One complaint is that yahoo.com seems to be overzealous in blocking automated emails from this site (all WordPress sites, actually). The emails don’t even appear in the junk folder. The only way to see these missing emails is to login to your email account directly and rummage through the spam folder. As a result, it has been an extra hassle registering those users.

Public Posts: In order to protect all unreviewed posts, they were all made private until I could go through them all and set each image to the proper status. Until a post is made public, keyword searches and saved URLs will not work. As of today only the first year of posts are left to be reviewed (I was working through the posts backwards). Because Pip was, at the time, doing one post a day, that still means a lot of posts to review so it will be a couple of weeks before all posts are publicly viewable. Since there have been a lot of images to go through, I may have made some mistakes, so if you think I have made a mistake with an image status, please let me know. Understand that some images are restricted at an artist’s request or to protect a model from stigma until she reaches the age of majority. In that case, I will usually indicate something to that effect at the beginning of the post.

New Writers: First of all, I would like to thank Moko for keeping the home fires burning with a couple new posts each month. He is discovering—like I did years ago—that the more you research, the more leads you find! But I am especially pleased that new writers like Marlin, Bob, Amanda and Zeklullaby have been producing new articles. I hope they find this process rewarding and are encouraged to continue; there is still a lot of material to get through. And if our adversaries can manage to leave us be for a bit, I might find time to get some posts up myself!

The Coppertone Girl: Pip was recently having a conversation with someone about the Coppertone baby and decided to do some research. One interesting item ihe found s a Coppertone commercial from 1990 posted on YouTube. He doesn’t remember having seen that spot at the time, but it definitely marked the end of an era. There’s a real little girl of 3 or 4 years going shirtless in it, and it hints at—but doesn’t quite imitate—the famous ad with bare-bottomed 3-year-old Cheri Brand, the daughter of the ad’s artist, Joyce Ballantyne Brand. There’s also a transcript of an interview with Cheri on NPR’s website. Another YouTube video outlines the history of the image and how it gradually became more and more modest.

Demise of the Century Project: Reader Jerrold has reported that Frank Cordelle of ‘The Century Project’ died last October. At the time I wrote that article, he objected to our focus on the young girls in his publication. To secure his cooperation, I did the post without images. With our new ability to protect images, we can at least make them available to registered users. Scanning and posting the intended images has recently been on my to-do list.

Strange Fruit: I consider myself an educated person and yet I manage to find that I am ignorant of many events of historic import. This is perhaps not surprising given the tense race relations in the United States and consequent bias of US History textbooks. A case in point is a controversial song first sung by Billie Holiday in 1939. At the time, lynching of Black people was still common and, in protest, she sang a song called Strange Fruit. Yes, this metaphor refers to the appearance of dead Black bodies hanging from tree branches after being subjected to various forms of torture and humiliation. The children were hardest hit because apart from those who traumatized then orphaned, often Black children themselves were fair game as victims. In an effort to find images to illustrate this story, I discovered a strange dichotomy. Some images were documentary and were used in civil rights movements to illustrate injustice but many more were taken by the attackers as a trophy and squirreled away in private photo collections to this day. Perhaps it is not surprising that Holiday received harassment for her audacity to bring such a subject to the public. At the time, there was still a strong effort to keep Black people in their place and so this form of protest was not considered acceptable by the establishment. In fact, Harry J. Anslinger, the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics seems to have gone out of his way to make Holiday’s life miserable, even having his men plant narcotics in her room so they would have a pretense to arrest her. Unsurprisingly, juries believed law enforcement’s story hook, line and sinker and Holiday would lose on court case after another.

Your Government Money at Work: I noticed a weird item while listening to a podcast about the life of Osama bin Laden. When his compound was finally stormed—and bin Laden himself killed—it was the military’s task to collect various items from the site for archiving. Among the materials was an extensive video collection. Somehow, it became the US Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) job to digitize it all and make it available to the public. A few items were excluded because they were subject to active copyright by companies like Disney. The entire list can be viewed here. Some items are unsurprising as they pertained one way or another to terrorist attacks, Jewish-Muslim animosity, the Koran or Islamic customs and practices. But, amusingly, conventional Western fare was discovered such as Disney films and episodes of Tom and Jerry. The odd thing that caught my attention was a short film of two post-toddler girls fighting (VID-001841). There isn’t much to it and it is not known if the girls are some relation to bin Laden. The troubling thing for me was that whoever was filming did not have the impulse to break the girls up.

US Postal History: I have run into this item a few times and have now listened to a podcast that went into a little more detail. When the United States Postal Service was first established, it had very simple rules. As often happens, people game the system and stricter rules are gradually implemented. But at first, customers could send anything they wanted so long as it weighed less than 50 pounds (22.68 kg). That’s right; some people sent their infant or toddler girls through the post—applying the appropriate postage on a sleeve attached to the girl’s wrist, for instance. In most cases, this was not some kind of human trafficking, but a cost-effective way to send a child to her grandparent’s house which was often on some local rural route nearby. Usually the postman was known personally and could be trusted to complete the delivery with his charge unharmed. The most extreme case was a child sent from Pensacola, FL to a relative in Virginia. As the FBI had not yet been established, prohibiting such activities was not exactly enforceable.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani

(Last Updated On June 22, 2022)

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani was born in Ro, Italy in 1942. He worked as a machinist before his career as a professional artist. In 1966 Mantovani moved to Berlin, Germany, and attended painting classes in his spare time. Mantovani wrote in his autobiography, “… since I was a child I have always felt the urge to translate thoughts and fantasies in images “. His first exhibition was in 1977, and he then devoted himself entirely to painting. His painting is inspired by Italian Renaissance painters in style, and to a lesser extent in subject matter. Viewing his paintings, I am reminded of Fra Angelico in his clear, realistic style and formal poses. Mantovani’s web page is here. It is worthwhile to visit and view more of his paintings.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – Vogliamo Solo il Tuo Bene (1979)

Vogliamo Solo il Tuo Bene (We only want what’s good for you.) was painted in 1979. The statues are apparently advising the young girl, wearing only jewelry, about what is good for her. I could guess at further interpretation of this painting, but since I would only be guessing, I will leave it up to the reader to interpret the painting. Childhood is a recurrent theme of Mantovani. Many of his paintings feature children, especially girls.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – L’apoteosi di Pinocchia (1992)

L’apoteosi di Pinocchia (The apotheosis of Pinocchia), painted in 1992, features a young girl as Pinocchia rather than the customary boy Pinocchio. The scene is reminiscent of a Renaissance painting, although the man is in modern dress. Inclusion of strange details in the background is typical of Mantovani. I assume these details are significant, but can offer no theory of their meaning.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – La Nascita Sensazionale di Venere (1995)

La Nascita Sensazionale di Venere (The Sensational Birth of Venus) is Mantovani’s version of a theme popular with Renaissance painters. In mythology, Venus is said to be born from the foam of the sea, and usually a humanoid mother is not involved, as in this painting. Above Venus is a honeycomb shaped like a heart. This “Wax Heart” is the subject of another painting (Il Cuore di Cera) by Mantovani. He often includes in his works allusions to other of his paintings.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – Il Paletot Rosso (2006)

Il Paletot Rosso (The Red Coat) is the least surreal of the paintings in this post, yet it still evokes the feeling that there is more than meets the eye. The girl sits ten kilometers from Ferrara, in the Italian province where Mantovani was born. The cat in the lower right is frequently seen in Mantovani’s paintings. This painting is the first to be featured on the artist’s web page.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – Paesaggio Eroico (2008)

Paesaggio Eroico (Heroic Landscape) depicts the artist when he was ten years old, admired by two girls from a previous painting. The girl on the left is also in L’apoteosi di Pinocchia and other paintings. The details in the background are also from other Mantovani paintings. Note La Nascita Sensazionale di Venere above and slightly left of Pinocchia’s head.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – Cupida (2010)

Cupida (the feminine of Cupid) is Mantovani’s version of Amor Vincit Omnia (Love conquers all, from Virgil) painted in 1602 by Caravaggio. In the painting by Caravaggio, Cupid is portrayed as a boy. Cupid traditionally is a boy, but Mantovani puts more emphasis on girls in his art. This is especially true of his nudes. Look at the paintings on the artist’s web page; you will see many female nudes, but all male figures are clothed.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – La Sacra Famiglia (2012)

La Sacra Famiglia (The Holy Family) has the appearance of traditional paintings of the Holy Family. Even without the title and the halos, the pose and general background, and the multitude coming to adore them would have brought to mind paintings of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Mantovani spent much of his childhood in a Catholic orphanage and boarding school, and it shows in his painting. In this painting however, the child is a girl, and the family is dressed in modern clothing. They also have a dog. None of these details would be accurate for the actual Holy Family. Behind them and to the left is another family of a woman and two children, all with halos. Who are they?

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – La Vendetta della Strega (2013)

La Vendetta della Strega (The Witch’s Revenge) is the last painting in this article. when I first saw this painting, I had the idea that the girl was floating in the sky, and appeared bigger than the buildings because she was closer to the observer. Then I noticed that one foot is on the ground behind a tree. The girl is a giant; she really is many times bigger than the trees and buildings. Except for the pentacles on the hem of her skirt, there is nothing to indicate she is a witch. It is a mystery, at least to me, for what she is exacting revenge.

Allan O’Marra

(Last Updated On June 11, 2022)

Allan O’Marra grew up in Bancroft, Ontario, and his art often features the natural beauty of central Ontario. He is an artist, an art teacher, and a psychotherapist. As a painter, his work includes both realistic and abstract images. O’Marra paints portraits, figures, landscapes, and still-life. According to the artist, he is “Aiming always to reflect the wonder of existence in all its beauty and complexities.”

Allan O’Marra – Sweet Thing (1979)

O’Marra began exhibiting his paintings in 1971. The first of ten paintings included in this article is Sweet Thing (1979). It is a relatively early work, but O’Marra has already mastered the realistic style. The lake in the background is typical of O’Marra, he often paints aquatic scenes.

Allan O’Marra – Aphrodite’s Child (1981)

Aphrodite’s Child (1981) is another figure of a girl at a lake; this one a nude. Most of his figures are clothed, but a few are nude.

Allan O’Marra – After the Swim (2005)

Allan O’Marra – We All Need Our Heroes (2011)

The next two paintings are After the Swim and We All Need Our Heroes. I have not been able to determine who the models are for these paintings. They have the feeling of O’Marra’s paintings of his own family.

Allan O’Marra – Naturists in a Grotto (2015)

Naturists in a Grotto shows a group of seven naturists, including both males and females, young and mature. O’Marra wrote, “This painting is from a series that I am working on that celebrates my fascination with the idea of family naturism—working from reference images found on naturist websites across the globe.” By using reference images from naturist web sites rather than his relatives or other live models, he had access to plenty of images of people of both sexes and all ages. In Naturists in a Grotto, six of the seven figures are female, and three are adolescent girls. Were young girls given prominence because, in O’Marra’s artistic judgement, they are most aesthetically pleasing?

Allan O’Marra – Sisters (2019)

Allan O’Marra – Ashlyn —Swimming in the Rain (2019)

I find Sisters appealing for the sisterly affection evident in the two girls. Ashlyn—Swimming in the Rain was inspired by the time the artist took his great niece swimming, and it started to rain.

Allan O’Marra – April (my granddaughter) (2021)

Allan O’Marra – Granddaughters (2021)

Allan O’Marra – Rayvin on the Fence (2021)

The last three paintings are some of O’Marra’s more recent work, and feature his family members. Allan O’Marra’s web page is here.

Maiden Voyages: June 2022

(Last Updated On June 4, 2022)

Yes, everybody; we are still here. This is a crucial stage in the site and organization where we must strategize how to survive in this environment.

“Protected” Images: I feel it was a sensible decision but it does pain me a bit that it has become necessary to protect certain image from prying eyes and those they report to not competent to make informed and rational decisions about the content we cover. No use crying over spilt milk. As an emergency measure, we had to change the status of most posts to private which mean non-registered readers will not see those posts. Now that we found a way to protect individual images, I am working back in time and making each post public again as I evaluate each image. It is important that the posts themselves are public so that those researching specific artists or themes can find the contributions of this site. As of this writing, I have released posts going back through 2017. All posts should be readily available in the next few days.

Registered Readers: I am pleased to announce that there is robust interest in full access to this site. Requests have been trickling in and over 100 users have now been registered. The good news is that a handful of materials that artists wanted to keep under wraps due to unwanted public scrutiny can now be made available to a limited number of viewers.

Pigtails Volunteer Recruitment Drive: The biggest problem with keeping this site going is the efforts of our supporters. In the early days, I had time to nurture the contributions of others but I have had much less time of late. In the coming month, I will be putting together a list of supporting positions that would help in the smooth operation of this site.

Agapeta‘s Domain Issues: I am pleased to report that the domain transfer codes to Agapeta have finally been released. In the mean time, a new domain agapeta.fr had to be used and still functions but now the original agapeta.art is now functioning again. I’m afraid Agapeta and the Graham Ovenden sites were the unwitting victims of attacks targeting this site.

Lukas Roels: I am delighted to report that images from Roels’ Angels Of Time are now publicly available. I confirmed with the artist that the images displayed by Galerie Ludwig Trossaert London were duly authorized by him.

Jogging the Collective Memory: Many times readers have shared memories of images they recall seeing in the past in the hopes of making an identification. Usually the descriptions are a bit too vague to offer much of a lead. However, a recent message gives details that are peculiar enough to be distinctive and perhaps one of our readers will recognize it. Anyone wishing to help, please send us a message.

Many decades ago I saw late 19th early 20th century (maybe 1900s) nude photographs depicting girls seated on short legged baroque chairs, one was looking with binoculars at a circular mirror on the ground oriented towards her, another photograph was a girl also on the same chair looking at white dog on the floor and another was a girl standing with the same chair behind her while looking at the circular mirror on the ground. All girls were wearing knee socks. So where can I find those plus all other similar work from the same photographer? [Text was edited for clarity. -Ron]

Public Sculpture of Girls in Japan

(Last Updated On May 27, 2022)

Pigtails has already posted two articles about Japanese public sculpture. You can read the post about The Little Girl With Red Shoes On, and Beatrice. Many other statues of girls are in public places in Japan. It seems to me that there is a greater interest in Japan for young girl art than in most countries. Note the number of Japanese artists listed in the ‘Pipeline’ on Pigtails in Paint. My subjective impression, acquired from image searches, is that the percentage of public statues that feature young girls is greater in Japan than in other countries. Many of these sculptures can be seen on the internet with information about where the statue is located, but no other information about the statue. This article will briefly look at ten Japanese public sculptures.

Hiroshi Takahashi, Yasushi Horikawa, and Minoru Furushima – Love, a Family of Five (1) (no date)

Hiroshi Takahashi, Yasushi Horikawa, and Minoru Furushima – Love, a Family of Five (2) (no date)

The first statue group is one of the two in this article whose artist is known to me. It is Love, Family of Five, a collaboration of three artists: Hiroshi Takahashi,Yasushi Horikawa,and Minoru Furushima. Love, Family of Five is in Hisaya Odori Park in the city of Nagoya. Many statues of nude women are in the park, but as far as I know, Love, Family of Five is the only one with young girls.

artist unknown – Statue at Sunpu Castle (no date)

The next statue is in the moat at Sunpu Castle, Shizuoka City. The military base at Sunpu Castle closed in 1949, and the castle was converted to a tourist attraction. I could not find the name of the artist who created this statue. The date is also unknown, but is probably after 1949. Two things about this statue of a girl with a hand puppet are unusual. First, the figure is cut off at mid-thigh. Second, the puppet is painted, but the girl is not.

Churyo Sato – Girl (1) (no date)

Churyo Sato – Girl (2) (no date)

Churyo Sato – Girl (3) (no date)

The next statue is simply titled Girl. One edition of this statue is outside the Ebetsu City Waterworks Government Building. Another is at the Yokohama train station east exit. If the Japanese like a sculpture, it is common to have multiple copies on public display in different places. The artist is Churyo Sato, one of the greatest 20th century Japanese sculptors. Sato began his career as an artist in 1934, and continued working until his death in 2011 at age 98. Girl has a simple pose; the aesthetic appeal is primarily the natural beauty of the model. Look closely and you will notice something peculiar. From the front Girl may at first appear to be nude, but is actually wearing a close-fitting leotard. From the back, she definitely seems to be nude.

artist unknown – Setsuko Yokokawa (after 1988)

Setsuko at Manchidani Cemetery in Nishinomiya City is the strangest girl statue in Japan. Many believe that it is haunted. The statue is based on the character Setsuko from the 1988 animated movie Grave of the Fireflies. The movie tells the story of a brother and sister in the final months of World War II. Setsuko dies in the movie, which has been acclaimed as one of the most persuasive anti-war movies. After this statue was made, weird stories began to circulate about it. It was said that a boy broke an ear from the rabbit next to the girl, and afterwards the boy broke his leg. Mysterious lights have been rumored to flicker around Setsuko at night.

artist unknown – Green Wind (1) (no date)

artist unknown – Green Wind (2) (no date)

artist unknown – Green Wind (3) (no date)

Setsuko, like many girls in Japanese anime, wears a short skirt. This Japanese vogue for miniskirts is noticeable in Japanese statuary as well as in cartoons. This is shown in the next four statues. Green Wind stands near the Sumida river in Tokyo. Another copy of Green Wind can be seen near the ticket gate at Shinjo Station. I was not able to track down the name of the sculptor or the date for Green Wind, or for the next statue, Eternal Girl. The large characters on the base of the statue are the title, Eternal Girl. The smaller characters below may be the name of the sculptor, but I was not able to read them. Eternal Girl is in the Chiyoda section of Tokyo.

artist unknown – Eternal Girl (1) (no date)

artist unknown – Eternal Girl (2) (no date)

A statue of a girl in Iwamizawa Central Park on the island of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, is shown next. I do not know the name of the statue, or the name of the sculptor. Several photos of the statue are online, but apparently the title and artist are not considered important enough to mention. Standing Girl is a title I made for the captions. The title for the following statue, of a girl playing a flute, was also not given on line, but it can be read on the base of the statue. According to Google Translate, 人間 means “human” or “human being”. It is an accurate title, but very general. Human is near Nusamai Bridge, Kushiro City, Japan.

artist unknown – Standing Girl (1) (no date)

artist unknown – Standing Girl (2) (no date)

artist unknown – Human (1) (no date)

artist unknown – Human (2) (no date)

artist unknown – Human (3) (no date)

The Girl Scout Statue in Yamashita Park, Yokohama is a grouping of three girl scouts intended to symbolize the friendship between the Girl Scouts of Japan and United States of America. It is near The Little Girl With Red Shoes statue. Eleven-year-old American Girl Scout Libby Watson and seventeen-year-old Japanese Girl Scout Hiroko Tanaka were the models for the two girls saluting and shaking hands. Audrea Cox was the model for the younger girl near them.

artist unknown – Girl Scout Statue (1962)

The last sculpture in this post is in a public park in Tokyo. Pictures of the statue are available online, but I have not been able to discover the name of the statue or of the sculptor. Statements have been made in Japanese forums that the statue is not really suitable for display around children because of the detailed representation of the girl’s vulva.

artist unknown – Nude Girl (1) (no date)

artist unknown – Nude Girl (2) (no date)

Eliseu Visconti

(Last Updated On May 29, 2022)

Eliseu Visconti was born in Italy in 1866. The Visconti family moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil before Eliseu was ten years old. Visconti studied at the São Paulo School of Arts and Crafts and at the Brazilian Imperial Academy. In 1888 he was awarded a gold medal by the Academy. He went to Paris to study art at the French schools in 1893. Eugène Grasset, a pioneer of the Art Nouveau movement, was one of Visconti’s teachers. Eliseu Visconti introduced Art Nouveau to Brazil.

After returning to Brazil, Visconti was made a professor of painting at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes. He was in Europe again in 1913 to 1920, and during that time he painted the foyer paintings for the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, and shipped them back to Brazil. Young girls are the subject of many of Visconti’s art. Ten examples are included in this article. Images in this post are from The Eliseu Visconti Project site, where a more comprehensive collection of Visconti’s art, and his biography may be seen.

Eliseu Visconti – Nu de Pé (1892)

Nu de Pé (Standing Nude) was painted in 1892. It is the earliest Visconti painting in this post, and by comparing it with later paintings we can see how the artist progressed. The face is not as expressive as in later paintings; she looks as if she is bored by posing. Her left hand looks large and masculine, almost as if it is another person’s hand.

Eliseu Visconti – No Verão ou Menina com Ventarola (1893)

No Verão ou Menina com Ventarola (In the Summer or Girl with a Fan) was painted in 1893. Like the previous image, Visconti painted it in Paris. The girl’s expression seems more relaxed, and to me this painting seems more natural than Nu de Pé.

Eliseu Visconti – As Duas Irmãs ou No Verão (1894)

As Duas Irmãs ou No Verão (The Two Sisters or In the Summer) is similar to Menina com Ventarola. Look at the bedposts in the background of Menina com Ventarola and you will see that she is on the same bed as As Duas Irmãs. Both paintings have the same alternate title, No Verão.

Eliseu Visconti – Oréades preliminary drawing (1899)

A preliminary drawing and a finished painting for Oréades (Forest Nymphs) are shown. When I first saw Oréades, I thought it was a painting of seven adolescent girls. I saw six girls in flimsy diaphanous garments that left their bodies visible, and one nude but draped with a ribbon that concealed the figure’s right breast and pubic area. According to The Eliseu Visconti Project, the nude figure with the ribbon is actually a shepherd boy dancing with six nymphs. In the preliminary drawing for Oréades, it can be seen that the effeminate appearing shepherd was modeled by an adolescent girl.

Eliseu Visconti – Oréades (1899)

After Visconti returned to Brazil, he organized an exhibition of his work at the National School of Fine Arts in 1901. The study for the cover of the exhibition catalog is typical Art Nouveau. The four nude girls are growing from, and part of a thorny vine. It is to me a very intriguing image. I would have liked to see a full color painting of this work.

Eliseu Visconti – As artes – Estudo para a Capa do Catálogo da Exposição de 1901 (1901)

Primavera (Spring) is another painting with an expressive face. Note that the face is darker than the rest of the body. Is the model blushing because she is shy? That would fit the expression on her face. It could also be that only her face is tanned because she is normally fully dressed when she is out in the sun. As in many Visconti paintings, the main figure is shown in greater detail than the background.

Eliseu Visconti – Primavera (circa1912)

Female Figure Study and Female Figures – Study for the Arcades are both drawings for the murals that Visconti would paint for the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro. The painting based on Female Figure Study was apparently destroyed when the arcades of the concert hall were renovated in 1934.

Eliseu Visconti – Female Figure Study (1913)

Eliseu Visconti – Female Figures – Study for the Arcades (1913)

Olhar de Menina (The Girl’s Look) is the only clothed portrait of a girl included in this article, but Visconti painted many such portraits of girls over his career. Olhar de Menina is one of Visconti’s later paintings. It was painted about 1935, and Visconti died in 1944.

Eliseu Visconti – Olhar de Menina (circa1935)

Update on Site Overhaul

(Last Updated On May 18, 2022)

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your kind and supportive words. Even under this frequent barrage of attacks and complaints, I can reassure readers that I have no intent of shutting down the site. However, given Pigtails’ organic growth and the nature of the publicly-accessible internet, we need to step back and do some long-needed overhauls. We are also going to engage in some recruitment to get help running the site. (details to appear in the next ‘Maiden Voyages’)

Visceral Impact: One of our chief goals is to educate the general public about the legitimacy of the nude form, including those of children. The trouble is that no matter how rationally we attempt to proceed, one cannot overcome the visceral impact of seeing a nude child when one has been conditioned to be shocked by such images. This is a very primal response and no good is served by shoving such images down the throats of the unwilling public. Therefore, we are taking steps to protect those sensitive types from their own rabid response. Please understand that we are not conforming to some societal standard (just our own). We still maintain the ethical high ground and will not be restricting access to anyone who wants it, despite any misguided notions that some presumed class of innocents require protection. However, any person publicly viewing this site should be advised that we at Pigtails in Paint do not depict any kind of lascivious display of children nor any overtly sexual behavior by individuals, groups of children or between children and adults.

Internet Security: No man or woman is an island and neither is any website or online account. Because of the complexity of the World Wide Web, every site depends on the cooperation of many others to function smoothly and offer full access. It is impossible to just carry on obstinately and not have some kind of interference by a service provider, site host, data center, domain registrar, nation or other legal authority. It is clear that middle managers  who receive complaints and are tasked to judge the legitimacy of public content are not expert enough to make sober decisions in the face of public pressure. The imperative of corporate capitalism compounds this problem even further. Therefore, we are taking steps to be less publicly visible so that important content can continue to be preserved and accessible to those who want to see it.

Image Scrutiny: So far, we have gone through and made most posts private which can now only be seen by registered users. I am currently going through one post at a time and making them public again. For those posts that have controversial and triggering images, we are establishing a system that will make certain images private while making the post as a whole public allowing in-site and internet searches to work. The use of AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms has also forced us to use a special application that protects images from being scanned by external automated searches. We have had trouble in this regard from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and there will doubtless be others as the use of AI becomes ubiquitous.

Judging which images are “safe” will have to be somewhat subjective, of course, but I can share some guidelines to give you an idea. The following categories of images will be classified as private: 1) Practically all complete photographic nudes of children, 2) Partial nudes if they could be considered slightly erotic or have an attitude of intimate vulnerability (Taking this precaution will also tend to protect models from the stigma of public ridicule), and 3) Images in any medium that depict children in the context of an overt sexual metaphor or otherwise disturbingly transgressional.

Registered Users: There is no restriction to be a registered user (except those who are suspected of being trolls). Simply go to the ‘Contact Page’ and send me a message from the email you would like to be registered under. You will be sent a password and login instructions. Please understand that those instructions are confidential and should not be shared with anyone. If we have to alter the login procedure because of security leaks, it will inconvenience other users who would have to be informed and learn a new procedure. I have received a few requests already and starting today, will be going through and creating those user accounts.

Navigation: Until all posts are made public again, navigation will be difficult for all users because posts that are still private cannot be searched. I have made all ‘Maiden Voyages’ posts public so that readers can go to the “Month” index found on the right side and go to a particular time period. It will be necessary to click on the post title that appears so that the “next” and “previous” links (in green) will appear on the right side just under the banner. From there you can navigate forward or backward one post at a time. It is my intent that this process of updating the posts will be complete during the summer and will function normally after that point.

Special Bonuses: Many have suggested in the past that Pigtails offer special bonuses for premium users (and that could be a source of some revenue). I still resist that idea because it will create the assumption that we are hiding salacious materials because of our challenging subject matter. However, a few pages will be available to only registered users because they contain images that some might find shocking. A menu item will be created that will index those private pages so those who are registered will know what is available. However, all posts will eventually made public.

Agapeta: Fans of the Agapeta blog may already know that for some reason, the codes to that registered domain have still not been released. As a result, Agapeta is now operating with the domain agapeta.fr. It is still not clear why the codes for Pigtails were released but not those of Agapeta and Ovenden which most would agree are less controversial sites.