Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bettie Page Is Gone At 85

Bettie Page held a special place in my life, as I am sure she did for most of my friends. She was beautiful, cool, a Muse that inspired, a Pin-Up Queen from an other-worldly place and time.

Detail from a multimedia Bettie Page piece for World Tattoo Gallery

The first piece of gallery art I ever sold was a Bettie Page piece. It was at Tony Fitzpatrick's World Tattoo Gallery on the southside of Chicago in 1993. The show was called "The B-Girl Show" and images of Bettie were everywhere. Mine was the first piece in the show to sell. I had priced it at $1,000.00, because I actually didn't want to sell it and in the days before digital cameras, I hadn't taken the time to document it. It is only a good memory now.

I remember being in Barcelona in 1990 and marveling at my good fortune in finding some photo collections of Bettie I hadn't found anywhere else. Collecting Bettie Page photos pre-internet was akin to hunting down rare overseas 45's of an obscure STIFF Records artist. A peek into another world that certainly wasn't outside my front door and a knowing look into a timeless era that you knew would be remembered forever. You just knew that if your drawings had that energy and verve that projected from Bettie's photos you were onto something.

We'll miss you, Bettie Page. Rest in peace.

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