The Pin-up Gallery

Otto, Walt 

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Otto is another of the Elvgren-style pin-up artists, creating beaming American beauties in lushly painted oils on canvas (for Gerlich-Barclaw, among others). Research has neither confirmed nor denied Otto as part of the Sundblom shop. Despite hyper-realism typical of the Elvgren school, Otto varies considerably from the Elvgren pattern in several key ways. His paintings contain cartoonish elements, particularly in the expressions of his winsome girls (as well as his cartoonist-style signature). Additionally, his women are less coy than Elvgren's: an Otto girl typically attired in short shorts or bathing suit, occasionally tugged along by a cute mutt or two, stares unabashedly at the viewer. Also, Otto eschews any suggestion of setting for a solid black background, and frequently uses Petty-style cartoon outline shorthand for a phone cord or dog leash or whatever to better focus the attention on the pretty subject at hand.

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