American Pop artist Mel Ramos was born in 1935 in Sacramento, California. The Pop Art movement started in the 1950s as a reaction to the popular Abstract Expressionism movement. Many artists found the latter to be too intellectual, subjective and unrealistic. They wanted to address the reality of everyday life instead. The Pop Art movement is characterised by exuberance and irony, as well as satire. It is strongly concerned with the confrontation between art and commerce, drawing much inspiration from advertising and fashion.

But rather than the serial and surgically cold essentiality of Andy Warhol or the comic book figures of Roy Lichenstein, Mel Ramos had been working with so-called pin-up girls since 1963, when they were an integral part of advertising. The use of warmth, light and sensuality in his paintings was evidently favoured because of the climate of his origin, and, in a way, very diverse from the obsessive regulated behaviour typical of inhabitants from cities such as New York. It is likely that this difference allowed him on one hand to express that hedonistic pleasure that his works transpired and on the other, to be particularly efficient with sarcasm.

Due to the success of gender research and feminism, the view of Ramos’ pin-up girls has changed in recent decades compared to their reception in the 1960s and 70s. Art historians are still debating the intent of his depictions. According to art historian Nicole Lechler, Ramos made it very clear that he did not want to provoke or criticise. He wanted to convey pleasure and pay homage to the female body, that was his statement." Whether his paintings are a glorification of pornography or whether, on the contrary, they have a socially critical approach - in other words, whether he is denouncing the abuse of women as commodities, as consumer goods – remains in the eye of the beholder.