“The Playmate as Fine Art” Exhibit at Art Basel


From December 4th-9th, Playboy had a presence at Fresh Basel: Performance Based Artworks and Art Activations 2012, a group art exhibition curated by The Hole which was featured throughout the week at an historic villa in Miami Beach. As part of the exhibition, Playboy presented a special art exhibit inspired by Playmate As Fine Art, a series of original pieces featuring Playmates, created by Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Wes Lang, Ryan McGinness, and Tracey Emin to name a few. The series is featured in Playboy’s January/February 2013 issue.


Seven famous contemporary artists interpret Playboy’s provocative Centerfold.

It was a different world back in 1967, when Hugh Hefner and Playboy Art Director Arthur Paul sought out 11 of the world’s best-known artists and sculptors to transform the Playmate into fine art. The Centerfold had not yet assumed its place in the American consciousness, and artists were not as likely then as they are today to use elements of popular culture for inspiration. That has changed, of course. Today the Playmate is a part of American iconography: We see references to her image in many parts of our culture. It seemed appropriate, then, to revisit the Playmate with a new generation of artists and to see how they might respond to this American archetype. With that in mind, we asked seven artists to interpret the Centerfold on their own terms. No conditions were set, nor specific Playmates mandated.

Artists: Will Cotton, Richard Prince, Jill Magid, Wes Lang, Ryan McGinness, Cindy Sherman, Tracey Emin