Airplane “Nose” Art: This decorative painting is a long tradition in U.S. aviation. Pilots and maintenance crews during the World Wars would show off their creativity and pride (and some repressed sexuality) by putting art on their flying machines .
Crews would decorate their aircraft with all types of images and slogans. Often they depicted popular cartoon characters in their paintings and designs, or they adapted a graffiti style, which was the earliest style of nose art (sometimes nice, sometimes naughty).
But the most popular subject for these men were women: film stars, mother figures, girlfriends back home, wartime heroines–even Betty Boop.
Firestone and McCormick collected a wide range of nose cones from airplanes in various shapes and sizes. The two invited a collection of contemporary artists to take these artifacts and turn them into pieces of fantastic art. This is quite a creative act of aesthetic recycling!
If nose art isn’t for you, look through The Bare Square Store for artwork created by the world’s finest emerging artists starting at $20.