"Outcasts are my kind, they try harder. From strip joints to Burlesque theaters, I went on a quest and met the 'Legends', these dominating characters of the quintessential American art of strip tease. Hours of confidence on tapes, intimate photo sessions, they peel off and reveal the hidden layers of their life with throaty emotion. Their memories reflecting the memories of the land. Vietnam vets and bikers are their loyal patrons..." The Living Art Of Risqué, a photo essay from Marie Baronnet, features portraits of former strippers aged 60 to 95, accompanied by short bio-vignettes in their own words. [NSFW; nudity] [more inside]
20th-century American artist, Alice Neele, "The Auntie Hero": "While Uptowners were making their way downtown to have their portraits painted by Warhol, Downtowners were going up to 107th Street to sit for this bohemian, auntie-like artist." Check out seven decades of raw, sometimes amazing, but always deeply humane portraits of the often larger-than-life figures who peopled the New York art/lit scene and Neel's personal landscape, including such iconic irrepressibles as Joe Gould, Andy Warhol, Annie Sprinkle, and Bella Abzug. (NSFW)
Big Hats and Eroticism is just one of the many features of Tallulahs.com, an excellent site dedicated to images of the vintage nude. There's also lots of wonderful trivia and commentary, such as a brief biography of the Mante sisters (immortalized in the brilliant ballerina images of painter Edgar Degas), and the story of Liane de Pougy, convent girl turned runaway wife, turned celebrated dancer of the French stage, turned Romanian Princess. Or you can read about the mystery of H. Traut, elusive photographer of "the gentle eroticism of fairyland" whose images graced hundreds of postcards for several years until he seemingly vanished from the scene some time before WWI. Interested in drawing or painting nudes yourself? Here's a page of classical nude poses - studies in various categories that you can work from, including "The beauty of butts" and "seductive smoking"! Plus, you can peruse Tallulah's own art nudes, and a fabulous links page. NSFW, obviously.