If one was to reduce Playboy to a mere declaration of chauvinistic misogyny, one might be forced take back one’s words and withstand being called out on uninformed pigeonholing. As it turns out – Playboy was in fact one of the finest examples of ground-breaking mid-century publishing. Serving up an amalgamation of liberated nudity, contributions by some of the world’s most renowned novelists and featuring interviews with prominent public figures of the time, standards were kept high with the likes of Martin Luther King & Malcom X.
Arthur C. Clarke, whose brilliant affinity for Sci-fi fiction has earned him not only accolades within the realm of American literature, but countless filmatizations of Space Odyssey which have immortalized his name within the entertainment industry as well. as Hunter S. Thompson who was notoriously known just as well for his gripping writing as he was for his love of the bottle; and more surprisingly Roald Dahl and Jack Kerouac – all contributed to the magazine during the 60’s and 70’s, offering tantalizing reads alongside other ‘riveting’ content.
Playboy’s columns and spreads weren’t only deemed to proclaim a man’s views of the world – penning down their thoughts to their male peers were the very likes of Margaret Atwood and Larry Grobel.
The notoriously saucy magazine was at the time most exquisite and in demand cultural digest the midcentury had to offer, as well as simultaneously preserving the prestige also when it came to the artistic and photographic collaborations on view.
Given the above context – the seemingly curious case of Salvador Dali for Playboy published in 1973, might not be so curious – after all – stranger names, as the likes of of Charles Eames and Keith Harring have appeared in the context of Playboy’s art direction, alongside Dali’s. And while Dali’s approach in general might be leaning towards the obscure and deadpan strange, the project – which fused the notorious surrealistic motives and Spanish iconography Dali is by now well-renowned for – is no less an exhilarating discovery.
Au contraire, it’s resurfacing on let’s say a Friday afternoon just might set the tone for the weekend.