Pearl Frush

One of the handful of major female pin-up artists, Pearl Frush makes a logical third with Zoe Mozert, who excelled in pastels, and Joyce Ballantyne, who shone as a painter of oils. Frush's medium was watercolor, although it is not always apparent in the published versions of her works.

Fairly prolific in the 1940s and '50s, Chicago artist Frush produced fresh, beautiful, shapely pin-up girls who share with the women of Mozert and Ballantyne an individuality and reality the men in the field seldom achieved. Her originals are comparatively tiny (typically 19" by 14"), and reveal a delicate, flawless technique as beautiful as her subjects.

She may be Vargas' only true rival in watercolor, and Petty's in airbrush. She was not averse to Elvgren-style tease a Frush girl could purse her lips and look coyly at the viewer with the best of 'em but Frush more often presented her young women in a straightforward manner. By the mid-1950s she was capable of near photographic perfection.

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