|Intl. Notebook||Apr 10 2013|
When Michael Todd’s famed musical Mexican Hayride opened in New York City he decided to have the program art, which had been painted by the famed Peruvian arist Alberto Vargas, aka Varga, reproduced at giant scale on the billboard atop the Winter Garden Theater where the show was being staged. This photo shows Varga’s giant pin-up almost completed.
In person the matador-like figure, which is modeled after but isn’t quite a portrait of star June Havoc, was probably garbed in bright red with gold brocade, matching the colors of the program art. The reverse of the photo says: A gargantuan Varga girl, 157 feet wide and 30 feet high, has been completed atop the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway in New York. Sketches for the illustration were made by artist Varga in Chicago.
Of course, the horizontal image doesn’t look very impressive at a mere 433 pixels in width, so through the magic of Photoshop and for no other reason than we wanted to see what it looked like, we’ve reoriented the image below. There’s some egregious pixel stretching happening on the lower half of the figure, but all things considered, it looks pretty good. You can drag it to your desktop and rotate it for a better look. The photo was shot today in 1944.