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Chronicle Books brought us on to design a book for the Suicide Girls. The short version is, the Suicide Girls are nekkid chicks on a website. The longer version, which can be found in this rant, attests to ideals of beauty. In this instance, the tattooed, pierced and painted pinups of today find their spot along the pinups of the '40s, '50's, '60s, etc. These are today's gals.

Seen here are three [ahem] spreads of what we had intended as endpapers for the book, images that slowly reveal the women and forms within, from within a context of lacy underthings and cliched silouettes.

Here's a short snip from the essay:
Ideas lead to ideals. And ideas of beauty - of what we find moving, - lead to ideals of beauty. Throughout recorded history there have been those that have attempted to leave for posterity their notions of ideal beauty.

When I see many of the images on this site, I try to look past the superficial artifacts of the paint and piercings and see what lies beneath. Often times it is just an average girl, or more attractive than average girl, posing or playing, and at those times the ideal or idea is more one of the beauty of the day-to-day.

Seen above, two-page spreads featuring individual girls and art and/or text supplied by them from their "scrapbooks", and were designed to complement their personalities: hippy-dippy, arty-farty, happy-go-lucky, touchy-feely, punk-und-angst, etc. These spreads would be interspersed with spreads of individual girls, as seen below.

While the average viewer sees nekkid chicks, we thought long and hard about photo placement, scale, rhythm and sequence, as seen in the one spread toward the end of this section which shows a vertical format. Vertical formats are familiar with anyone who has ever seen a centerfold, but in this case the top image literally hangs from the edge of the paper (as does the woman hanging from the trapeze bar) and in contrast and balance to that, the image on the bottom page is literally at the bottom, as a woman reclines, her gaze in focus and focusing on the viewer. The idea, to draw the eye with intent, from form to form, from ideal to ideal.

Ultimately we imagined this book sitting on our shelves comfortably with our books of work by Edward Weston, Gustave Klimt, Egon Schiele, Alberto Vargas, Billy De Vorss, Gil Elvren, George Petty, Hiroshige, Modigliani, Gauguin and Coop.

For more on this project, check out our Identity section.

Chronicle Books | Suicide GirlsReturn to publication.
Chronicle Books | Suicide Girls