Ben Hur Baz

November 16, 2009

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Date of Birth:
Ben Hur Baz was born in 1906 and died recently in 2003 at the age of 96.

Inspiration:
Because he was a Mexican artist I find it exciting that he didn’t paint in the traditional Mexican art that was popular at the time. Art that artist such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo were popularizing at the time. Because he didn’t seem to attach himself to the style of México it makes me believe that maybe he didn’t grow up in México and was influenced by something in the United States.

Education:
Unknown

Works of Note:

Illustrator Miscellany:
Ben Hur Baz a Mexican artist was one of the most successful pin up artist of his time. He was a regular illustrator for the men magazine Esquire. Because of his work Esquire was established as the original pin up magazine, paving the way for magazines like Maxim, Playboy, and others. The original way of describing what he did was Gallery Glamour, but would later on be simply known as pin up. (1)

Examination of Materials:
A prolific artist he on top of glamor and pin up, he also was a advertising illustrator. He also was a very successful paperback novel artist.  However in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s he seemed to lean towards pin up illustration.  His pin up illustration were in magazines yearly calendars and monthly centerfolds.(2)
There is not much information on how Ben Hur Baz live before he reached his fame. However he is known for his “Marilyn Monroe”, “black gloves”, and a cowgirl on a saddle, all of which are oils. He also painted woman s homes. (3)

Style Analysis

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I personally really like his work. He has a very smooth way of describing the female form. He also makes them realistic. He didn’t over-exaggerate too much on the more “sexual parts” which is a nice break. He also isn’t typical with his woman. He usually works with woman form different back rounds and nationalities, not just the blond haired big blue eyed girl that most pin up artist of his time did. This is why I think he stood out from the others.  I wish that there was more information on him, I would like to know more of why he choose to do what he did.

I am also glad that I was able to explore him and the pin up  style a bit more.  Because of it, I’ve bought a book or two on the pin up world on Amazon.

Ben Hur Baz is a very underappreciated artist, and I wish esquire would feature him now in the magazines, he was really one of the reasons Esquire is still a huge pin up magazine. Plus photo-retouched girls are kind of overdone.  They should really bring him back.

– Kristina Wright, Spring 2009

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Endnotes:

1″ben hur baz.” wikipedia. Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben-Hur_Baz. Internet; accessed 22 October 2009.

2″ben hur baz.” ben hur baz. Available from http://www.artarchiv.net/sexarte/doku/BenHurBaz.htm. Internet; accessed 22 October 2009.

3″ben hur baz.” virtual pin ups art gallery. Available from http://www.webagora.com.br/0/bhbaz1.htm. Internet; accessed 22 October 2009.

“famous mexican painters.” aboutmexico.net. Available from http://www.aboutmexico.net/mexico/painters.asp. Internet; accessed 22 October 2009.

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