Girls, Corrupted

Believe it or not, there was a time when prepubescent boys didn't have the luxury of rifling through Dad's stash of Playboys for a little stimulation. Enter the pinup girl: She was glamorous, she was provocative, and evidently, she was titillating enough to rock the world of many a man in the 1940s and '50s.

Now, reZurrection Gallery pays homage to the vintage sex symbols with its "Lady Luck" exhibition. But, reZurrection Gallery owner Darci Johnson says, the pinup show isn't about arousing the beast below, but rather creating an "appreciation of women and the female form."

The celebration kicks off at the opening reception, where all-girl punk band Hell on Heels will perform, and six live pinup girls from Bedouin Belly Dance Troupe will shimmy around the gallery.

Nationally renowned pinup artist Christine Karas, who has been featured on the Playboy Channel, will contribute to the show and unveil three new pieces at the opening reception. Her pinup girls -- posed against flaming orange backgrounds and surrounded by eight balls, spades and dice -- inspired Johnson's naming of the show.

"The show broadens the term 'pinups' and makes people realize the art doesn't have to always be the glamorous 1940s girl in a see-through negligee," Johnson says. From rockabilly beauties done in colored pencil to a computer-generated, Lolita-esque roller skater, the show features more than 20 photos, prints and paintings from eight different artists -- each with his or her own interpretation of how classic or modern a pinup girl can be.

Local artist Mike Maas has two pinups featured in the show, and agrees the art doesn't have to be all about a rush of blood to the head. Maas says his cartoonish and "pop arty" pinup girls aren't supposed to be sexual or titillating -- "unless you're into Betty Rubble."

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Lynh Bui