Oakland photographer Mark Jordan is trying to bring back the glory
days of pinup stars. Inspired by classic shots of stars like Bettie
Page, Mamie Van Doren, and Betty Grable, Jordan photographs
contemporary beauties in the retro style of1940s and 1950s Photoplay magazine features.
“Pinup photography is sexy and provocative, but it’s also tasteful,” says Jordan, whose portrait and documentary work has been featured in People and Details magazines. “Sexy photos today don’t leave much to the imagination. Back in that era they had more creative ways of showing a woman’s sex appeal. I love keeping history alive and working in that vintage era, and exploring it with a modern twist, like using digital photography.”
A notable muse for Jordan is burlesque star Dita Von Teese (pictured), one of Vogue magazine’s “most stylish women of 2004.” The 16-inch-waisted Von Teese was introduced to Jordan when the photographer was working for Swing Time, a swing-dancing lifestyle magazine, in the late ’90s.
“We hit it off, and she’d call me up every time she was coming through the Bay Area,” says Jordan. “I’ve taken her photo quite a few times, including in my 1938 Buick. But this was all before she met [rock star fiancé] Marilyn Manson, and her career went crazy.”
Jordan’s photos can be seen in the Spoontonic Lounge, 2580 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, through September, and at www.markjphoto.com.