I am sure you have noticed the increase in tight fitting jeans, better known as skinny jeans. Before skinny jeans, people wore jeans as tight as they could get them, giving life to a urban legend about death by shrinking jeans. I would like to think that we can all thank an American artist who lived and created art right here in Phoenix for making tight jeans a long standing pop culture icon: a relatively unkown artist named George Quaintance. What, you’ve never heard of him? You’re not alone. The art publisher Tacshen recently released a book chronicling Quaintance’s art career. In the early 1950s, he set up his own studio in Phoenix, Arizona, where he created the works of male figurative art he is best known for today. Prior to Arizona, he studied drawing and painting in New York and Los Angeles, specializing in painting and photographing male athletes for popular physique magazines such as Physique Pictorial, edited by Bob Mizer of the famed Athletic Model Guild, or AMG. George Quaintance died of a heart attack in 1957, leaving a legacy of tight jeans and bulging..... muscles.
What if you wanted to dress like that today? One option would be Nu-Parr of Arizona, started in the early 1950s by local architect Ralph Parachek. At Nu-Parr, men and women of today can have custom undies, posing straps, swim suits, even jeans made just for you, some utilizing patterns created 50+ years ago. A pair of custom Nu Parr of Arizona jeans are on my bucket list! Check out their history.
June 3rd is George's Birthday. Let’s celebrate his well-deserved place in
Phoenix and art history.