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INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE RODRIGUEZ
By LAYLA RABIA

George Rodriguez, known on fashion industry as Grodpro :icongrodpro:, is one of leading American fashion photographer, but he doesnt like to be photographed. Although it focuses more strongly to photograph beautiful women, it is also an extraordinary photographer of male models. In one case as in the other, he explores naturally both wild side too much as the sensitivity of the subject of his work. Human cats comfortably relaxed and absolutely free. Practically doesnt exist artifices in Rodriguez’ portraits.

What he likes, and too much, is talk about his own work, is that despite specialize in fashion photography, has expanded and enriched his field of work in a lot of new levels. It has transcended the merely commercial for manifest as any artist of sensuality and made something serious and disturbing about glamor. All this has led him to dabble in the renovated pin-up genre, the rogue-commercial portrait as in vogue among 40s to 70s, and how it has become today.

"With awakening of my sexuality –says George-, I was irresistibly attracted by the pin-up. From timeless Marilyn Monroe whose white skin contrasts with red satin sheets, originally published in Playboy magazine… through Vargas artwork, who by then were like burnt memories... it had to return, becoming a place between contemporary art.

The pin-up has proven to be timeless. It has gone from being center of heated debates by feminists, to an art that fascinates women, more than men. Gloria Steinem, one of the most recalcitrant leaders of the feminist movement, expressed her pleasure at the turn acquired this art. Perhaps like same reason, Rodriguez did not want to be too classic in his work and has achieved a very personal style by fusing the most classic of the art, with the boldest of contemporary erotic art: His models are not there to be admired. They shout "look at me!"

"I just want to give my version of a twist on the classic style, but with modern woman in mind. For me, classic pin-up is very compatible with timeless glamour, although I admit I'm not very fond of chance. I plan very well what I do, what I want to project: the final result.

"My definition of pin-up is any situation in which a classic pose that fills you reminiscences of other still images. So before you start working with a model, I present my idea of  what I want to convey. I try to give instructions about light and how it will affect their poses, before developing the story. If by chance the resulting shot is in pinup style, I derive enjoyment.

But ... how were the beginnings of this successful fashion photographer-underground?

"I had an epiphany! They'd just say goodbye to a job, I was seriously considering returning to college, but I was already married, and did not even have a clear idea of what I wanted to go to College. When I told it to my wife, she yelled from the other room, "what about photography"? The moment I heard that word, I lit a light bulb in my head and shouted, "That's it going to be a commercial photographer, our lives will be paved with gold"! I do not know why the hell I said that, but I did.

But George Rodriguez took it more seriously than it says, and attended professional studies as commercial photographer.

"I love the industry. While in high school had a part time job in a district of art and models, so I started to get used to all this, I thought my destiny could be no other. I love women, mostly an aesthetic sense and a knowledge of business I wanted to follow fashion professionally. Also planned to go to Paris and start my career there, but I found a country girl and she would not go so far from home (he laughs, referring to his wife).

Rodriguez said that this is a work for a two. He’s not a dictatorial photographer. He likes that the model proposed. As we say in the literary argot: "writing for four hands".

"That's the main reason I prefer to work with experienced models, although, as elsewhere, one of leading surprises. I like to use all types of lighting techniques, light from the window, and the addition of strobe lights; full flat light, ring light, but mostly I like to work with hard light. I like to get as close to a finished work. I admit I am not very fan of photoshop, but sometimes helps achieve that dreamy effect with lighting, which contributes to an effect of smoother skin.

Regarding the equipment used, George Rodriguez is a great orchestra of a single director-musician:

"My camera is Nikon system. My dream lens for soft approach is a Rokinon 85mm ƒ1.4. My other soft focus lens is 80-200mm Nikkor ƒ2.8. My main lens is a 24-85mm Nikkor ƒ2.8. Camera bodies D300 and D700. My main studio flashes are Elinchrome.
And although it is extremely eloquent to share his secrets and tricks as a photographer, and his artistic ideals, is frugal to refer to the future, perhaps because, camera in hand, he can only think about the immediate future:

"My plans for future are to be happy shooting what I love. To keep my customers happy and help young people realize their dreams in the fashion industry.

Marion - DD by grodpro
:thumb531881414:

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Sera - 1505 by grodpro

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Angela - 7162 by grodpro

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Lucille - 8812 by grodpro

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Hanna by grodpro

Raina - 1318 by grodpro

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Lucille - 8578 by grodpro

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Trixie - 0961 by grodpro
Heaven by grodpro

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Betsy and Melissa by grodpro

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Lucille - 0183 by grodpro
Ashlee by grodpro Hope Michell with mirror by grodpro
A RESUME OF AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE BY :icontechgnotic:

IF YOU WANT TO READ THE ORIGINAL AND LEFT COMMENT TO THE AUTHOR, PLEASE GO TO THIS LINK: fav.me/d4odaap

In researching the history of pin up art I found that before there were the “centerfold girls”  there were the “pin-up calendar girls” – the semi-nude young women in lingerie whose photographs  adorned calendars sold semi-legally from under the counters of gas stations and truck stops. In  fact, the Marilyn Monroe nudes that established the “Playboy” magazine centerfold were actually  taken years before for just such a “men’s calendar.” From “French postcards” to calendars to men’s  magazines, there has always been a special relationship between photography and the male obsession  with the female form. These photos were pinned in soldiers’ lockers and even carried into combat.  The iconic pin-up images were even painted on the nosecones of many U.S. Air Force bombers.

Why the male obsession of covering his walls, jackets, cars, advertising, gadget skins and  screensavers with photos and artworks depicting variations and arrangements of female anatomy?

At least through the “Playboy” era (1960s-70s) the depictions of the female were extremely “objectified”

– the “quality” of the female subject’s body parts taking precedence over any other information about the  subject. But something interesting happened as the generations progressed. Pin-up art has greatly evolved  not only from how idealized females are depicted, but also in that so many women themselves are now the artists  creating pin-up art.

Furthermore, the pin-up models themselves are no longer mute, anonymous “objects” for manipulation – they have their own identities, websites and businesses based on how they choose to represent their female form.

When young men choose pin up totems of their preferred pop culture prey to adorn their man-caves these days, the “pin-up girl” ideal is more likely to be closer to Lara Croft or Gina Carano or the Kate Beckinsale character in  “Underworld” or Milla Jovovich in “Resident Evil” than to some full bodied but otherwise expressionless model. Even  the most macho men today seem to want their “dream girl” to be smart and tough and resourceful.

The pin-up image has greatly evolved from a fluffy slice of “cheesecake” to a self-reliant, self-defined, physically  fit female whose hotness is exceeded only by her ability to kick any unworthy man’s butt. As more and more female artists  create pin-up art, and more female models for this art become self-empowered in co-creation of the “message” going out  from this art, the more the “objectification” past can be redeemed by the “empowerment” future – and the wonder and power  of the female subject – body and soul – can be free to evolve ever closer in its depiction toward ultimate revelation.


Addendum

Because of the comments this article is generating, many directed at the “voice” of the article instead of its subject, this has turned into a great opportunity to talk a bit about the process of these articles and why they are presented the way they are.

The purpose of my essays and articles on HQ is to shine a spotlight on amazing artists on deviantART as well as all of the different types of art represented on our site and hopefully spark real dialogues between deviants and others.  Sometimes this works “too well” and community members take me to task for pushing some sort of private agenda that would better be suited to my personal journaling.  But I have no agenda other than to provoke the lively exchanges that, like this one on pin-up art, are giving off such great passion, heat and light.  The shared comments, especially from contributors like `SparrowSong, are the other half of what the “articles” are about.

The articles are not personal “think pieces” or statements of official deviantART opinion or policy about “positive" or “negative” art.  The articles are meant to bring out your feelings and opinions.  In this pin-up piece I was worried that my own, sometimes buzz-kill, feminist sentiments (especially when it comes to objectifying women into sex toys) were going to overly darken my notes on “pin-up” - -  a major field of art on deviantART - - and make me look biased against it and its artists.  I obviously bent the rhetorical stick too far the other way.  I’m relieved that there’s still enough passion out there for female equality that I’d be called a sexist for not totally trashing “pin-up” and its fans.

What I really wasn’t trying to say in the article is that I think “pin-up” used to be sexist, but it’s all good and even empowering of females now with sexism “gone.”.  I thought I was saying that pin-up objectificaton will always exist so long as testosterone exists, but now at least there is a substantial portion of it that at least values (or intends to value) other aspects of the female subject (i.e., leadership, independence, physical and mental acuity, etc) and these were completely absent in pin-up just a few decades ago.  I always look to the rays of light emerging from the darkness, rather than the depressing persistence of the darkness.


A recent article from November of last year is a worthy and culturally formidable example of exactly the kind of educative and inspiring dialogue that in my opinion only lives and thrives in such a pure form here on the proletarian planes of deviantART.

What started out as an invitation for all of us to express, yet also question, our feelings and personal thesis about the validity, purpose, intent, and artistic merit of nudity in the arts (and subsequently our everyday lives) quickly turned into a wildfire global conversation that ran across every age, race, religion, gender, and ideology we have on the Earth Sphere. Just an incredible conversation that had a significant impact on many of us in the community who were following each and every comment.

One other angle I edited out of the article at the last minute: there is a direct thread from the Pin-up era all the way through to the insurgent Cosplay movement currently raging across the globe. The comment from $Dollwithagun presents first hand perspective regarding the pin up centric, barely there outfits, and decidedly erotic undercurrents permeating the Con circuits along with the meteoric rise and integration of the cosplay aesthetic into the mainstream of our pop-culture narrative. To this point, $Heidi and I returned from a fact finding mission at Dragon Con last year with multiple eye opening experiences illustrating this surging phenomenon.

I would like to extend this invitation to you to share responses to this article with links to artwork, sources, statistics, etc., that strengthen and support your positions and thoughts on any matters related to this now diverse conversation, and I will then update this article next week highlighting all of those well thought out and detailed responses.

Questions for the Reader


1

Many of you have commented about the inclusion of weapons as props in today's pin up art.  What would you say is the ultimate impact of that element on the viewers experience?

2

What female pin-up from movies, comics, fashion, etc, has always best represented your idea of the ideal female?  How much of your choice is based on sheer physical attractiveness and magnetism, and how much on other factors (what you know of her ideas and attitudes, her causes and concerns, etc)?

3

How much “political” thought ruins an artist’s muse?


4

Would you consider posing for a pin up if asked?  Do you think that posing for a painitng or drawing is different than posing for a photograph?


5

Do you feel it’s a generally positive thing that female artists create powerful independent female characters in their art that are still ultra-sexy and alluring?
Hi!!!!! :heart:

I opened 2 new pin-up categories to enrich this group and bring together -and give more opportunities- to different types and artists:

:heart: MANGA STYLE:

We are accepting pinup in manga style. Could be ecchi, but NOT HENTAI

:heart: COSPLAY:

If you have the pin-up version of femenine manga/anime or comics characters....your work will be very welcome!!!! :dance:

I WAIT FOR YOUR PINUP ART AND SUGGESTIONS!!!! :strip: :strip: :strip:

WITH LOVE :phae:

Shaharazad
Integra 14
DEFINITLY: Pin-up art arent pornography

Is not only a nude. Could be present a naked model, yes, but, in essence, pin-up is a naughty almost naive photo.

WE ACCEPT NUDE OR EROTIC IMAGES long as they adhere to the concept of pin up, for example:

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Moment's Glow 2 by moodscapes
:thumb278136448:

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Erin Burlesque by zairia


PIN-UP is beyond a glamorous image and have vintage reminiscents (even totally modern). If you have dude about whait is a pin up and what isnt a pin up, you can check our gallery or read this awezome article: FROM OBJECTIFICATION TO EMPOWERMENT:

Pin-Up: From Objectification to EmpowermentIn researching the history of pin up art I found that before there were the “centerfold girls” there were the “pin-up calendar girls” – the semi-nude young women in lingerie whose photographs adorned calendars sold semi-legally from under the counters of gas stations and truck stops.
    
    
Pin-Up
From Objectification
to Empowerment

:icontechgnotic:
by techgnotic
Wed Feb 01, 2011, 11:00 PM
In researching the history of pin up art I found that before there were the “centerfold girls”
there were the “pin-up calendar girls” – the semi-nude young women in lingerie whose photographs
adorned calendars sold semi-legally from under the counters of gas stations and truck stops


Thank you very much! :rose:
Real PinUp Members & Friends:

Originally, this group only accepted photos.

But, considering that the first pin up were created by talented drawers and painters, we open a new folder for digital and draw artists. In this case, their pin up could be of any category, except (as rules express clearly) violence and scene that denigrates the woman.

WELCOME DIGITAL ARTISTS, PAINTERS AND DRAWERS!!!! :wave:

Journal Writers