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 Peter Driben  (1903 - 1968)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: illustration-female figure

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Ad Code: 3
Peter Driben
from Auction House Records.
Keyhole Pin-Up with Bandana, Whisper magazine cover, January 1951
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Peter Driben d.1975

Peter Driben was perhaps one of the most productive pin-up artists of the 1940's and 50's.  Although both Vargas & Elvgren have extensive catalogues of work, neither come close to the output of Driben.

Driben was born in Boston and studied at Vaesper George Art School before moving to study at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1925.  His first known Pin-Up was the cover to Tattle Tales in October 1934, and by 1935 he was producing covers for Snappy, Pep,  New York Nights,  French Night Life and Caprice.  His career went from strength to strength in the late thirties with covers for  Silk Stocking Stories, Gay  Book,  Movie Merry-Go-Round and Real Screen Fun.

His career was not limited to magazine covers, he also worked in advertising and for Hollywood, perhaps his most famous work being the original posters & publicity artwork for The Maltese Falcon.  Peter Driben was also a close friend of publisher Robert Harrison, and in 1941 was contracted to produce covers for Harrison's new magazine Beauty Parade.  Driben went on to paint covers for all of Harrison's magazines, often having as many as six or seven of his covers being published every month.

Driben's Pin-Up Girls are distinctive due to the bold colors he used, (usually red, yellow, blue and green), and the fact that most of the girl's poses are designed to show as much leg as  possible.  In his later years Peter Driben turned, like many of his colleagues, to portrait and fine-art work, including a portrait of Dwight Eisenhower.  His wife, Louise Driben, organized these works into several successful exhibitions.

Source: American Illustrators Gallery

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The bold, outrageously fetishistic pin-ups of Peter Driben "keyhole" glimpses of faintly S & M-oriented imagery leaning on loony lingerie, fish-net stockings and spike heels from the Irving Klaw collection keep threatening to make the artist a latter day star. It hasn't quite happened yet, though reports of Driben's oil originals going for Elvgren level prices indicate it may.

Driben's earliest pin-ups were pale Film Fun imitations of Enoch Bolles, but the artist came into his own as house cover artist for the Bob Harrison stable of girlie magazines. Driben's voluptuous, leggy dames in their eye-popping outfits have a sense of humor that keeps the dark side of fetishism at bay; their appearances on Beauty Parade, Eyeful, Flirt, Titter, Whisper and Wink make those magazines highly collectible even when Betty Page isn't a featured model.

Driben was painting portraits of Palm Beach socialites at the time of his death in the late 1970s.


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