Photo: Greg Preston
“I paint Women. Pin-up, Burlesque, Fashion, Fantasy.”
Olivia De Berardinis has been working as an artist since the mid-70’s. Beginning in 1985, Olivia was a regular contributor to Playboy magazine, where her art pin-up page often appeared with captions written by Hugh Hefner.
Born in Long Beach, California, her childhood years were spent primarily on the east coast. She attended the New York School of Visual Arts ’67 -’70. Resided in, Soho, N.Y.C. from 1970 to ’74, creating Minimalist paintings.
Olivia was one of the new artists introduced in the Second Annual Contemporary Reflections 1972-73, of the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Conn. Also presented as one of 18 new artists in the “Tenth Anniversary, the Larry Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art 1964-74” with established artists including Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, and Frank Stella. By 1975, financial pressures forced Olivia to seek out commercial
art work. She returned to the skills she had gained as a child, and began painting strong, beautiful women and erotic pin-up illustrations for periodicals and paperback publishers, advertisements, and movie posters.
From pin-ups to superheroes, the latter has been De Berardinis’ focus the past few years, and it’s “not as big a leap as one might suppose,” she says. “This new direction has shifted me toward superhero and fantasy characters, women who are strong symbols in popular culture. I have opened myself to new muses.”