These vintage photographs from the 40’s and 50’s capture everything I look for in art. Typography, bold images, humor, slight sexual perversion and GRIT!
I have always loved the phtographs of military plane nose art. Directly showing the character of the pilots who were sure to die on every mission they flew, these pieces really portray the feeling of home sickness, patriotism, love loss, fear and cynicism imbedded in the minds of young men at war. Vulgarity in names such as Twin Nifty’s II, Ruff ‘N Ready and Miss Behavin.
Macho names like Haulin Ass, Sic ‘Em and Lets Face It
as well as humorous anticdotes like Com-Batty, and Idiots Delight show raw emotion in its simplest form.
Many names and paintings directly portrayed racial tensions of the time against the American Indian, Japanese, African American and North Korean’s with names like Shittin-In-Gettin, Cherokee Strip, and Nip-O-Nees.
It seems that WWII and icons associated with it spawned most of what current art trends obsess over. Sign painting, typography, graffiti, tattoo, pinstriping and even fashion. Undoubtedly, American traditional tattoo inspired many of the images adorning fighters and bombers during American involvement in WWII, the Korean and Vietnam wars. These images in turn inspired the evolution of tattoo art, sign painting, hot rod pin striping, gang jackets & insignias, motorcycle club jackets and insignias (most notebly the Hells Angels and their direct founding by WWII Airforce pilots) and of corse graffiti and even breakdancer and rap crew jackets.
On a closer tip with graffiti, the the images of the mechanics and pilots posing with their freshly painted aircraft directly resemble that of writers and b-boys of the 70’s and 80’s posing against their freshly painted trains. I’m sure the same inspiration for a mechanic to paint his plane is itself exactly what spawned the graffiti movement as we know it. Being surrounded by bleakness and expressing angst by bringing color, and humor to your surroundings all the while maintaining attitude and ownership of your territory.
My favorites among the following images are the WWII P-38’s and their direct resembelance of mid 1970’s New York graffiti styles and the more refined nose’s of the K0rean War B-29’s. Check out many more like them in the photo set below.