I was tipped off to a massive stash of lifestyle magazines from the 40s and 50s that were bound for the dumpster. Well over 100 Ladies Home Journals, Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post, Life, and Better Homes and Gardens. My best collage source score to date.
This style of magazine focused on practical advice for those living or pursuing the American Dream. While flipping through articles and ads about how to master your decorating or cooking game, I noticed the occasional pulp-y story about dangerous, moody dudes that “the women wanted and the men wanted to be.”
Accompanying each story was an edgy—often risqué—illustration of the protagonist.
A clear formula of an “ideal man” emerged after collecting dozens of illustrations.
Handsome, athletic, fashionable, able-bodied men with means. That’s quite the social currency. No wonder so many men for generations have tried to emulate those qualities.
Chap continues my curiosity around portrayals of masculinity in the media—and how I absorb and playback those messages in my art and life. This series is my first cheeky, trashy, pop-centric take on the topic.