A few words from the photographer...
I began doing pinup around 1993, creating a line of sexy female sculptures called “garage kits.” There are thousands of such kits these days, but when I began only a handful existed. My girl-kits were instantly popular and carried me to success.
No matter the medium, my pinup girls all have the same curious style: mature, fit bodies, topped off with sweet, cherubic faces. I find the mixture of sweet faces and wicked bodies very alluring. I’ve become known for this style, which is evidenced even in my photography. That’s probably because I treat the photos as illustrations, first choosing models that fit my mental template. Afterwards, I do extensive retouching; tweaking the anatomy, re-coloring clothing, replacing backgrounds, whatever it takes to get the desired effect.
The effect I desire is simply to create a consuming and radiant beauty. What probably distinguishes me from most photographers who use women as their subjects is the totality of my goal. I’m no longer interested in showcasing my artistry. A failed image to me is one where the viewer thinks, “What a great artist!” or even, “What a great picture!” No, I want the viewer only to think, “What a beautiful girl!” I sublimate all my skills to that purpose.
Stripping away the usual artistic flourishes like bold lighting, dramatic composition, fancy props and elaborate staging is frustratingly reductive, but I want to make the girl inescapably attractive. This means eliminating all unnecessary visual distraction, including any perception of my artistic and directorial manipulations. I want my photos to seem casual, like snapshots anyone could take.
I prefer smaller models because of their physical proportions. A crucial subtext of innocence is created; the girl looks unprepared for her own voluptuous body. I’d consider myself successful if the viewer of these pages found just one girl, one image, that engendered in them profound affection.
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Mike James was born in 1952 and had the typical upbringing of a child born in the Midwest. From the moment he first picked up a pencil, it was obvious he was a born artist. His first degree was a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and sculpture. In the mid-1970s, he hitchhiked across Europe to see and experience great art for himself. While overseas, he continued his education attending the Central School of Art and Design in London, receiving a Diploma in master printmaking. Back in the US, he worked in television for a few years, designing sets and on-air graphics for television. see part 2
Mike began sculpting and marketing products for the nascent figurative model kit hobby in 1993. He was a key figure in the establishment of the American “girl kit” genre. After two decades of creating acclaimed work, he built a large studio in rural Pennsylvania two hours from Manhattan, moving there permanently in 1996. He works in a variety of media, including photography, sculpture, and illustration....
Girls with perfectly pimped-up bodies created by Mike James
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