Exhibition & Events
case study

Title: Royal Flush
Client: Simon Webb and Lite-House Europe Ltd

Photographer Simon Webb, known for his portraits of celebrities such as Will I Am, One Direction and Graham Norton, has created a set of illuminated pin-up girl playing cards in tribute to the work of Alberto Vargas.

The six cards feature glamour girls, including model Emma K, in a series of stylized poses along with the photographer himself as The Joker.

The artworks are lit with Applelec’s LED Light Sheet, an LED backlit panel, in a series of bespoke lightboxes created by Peter Sargent of Lite-House Europe Ltd. The light panel is positioned behind a high quality Duratran print of each of the playing cards and finished with a black gloss MDF frame.

Peter Sargent of Lite-House UK Ltd said: ‘The frames are unique as their dimensions are directly proportional to those of a playing card, right down to the curvature of the corners. The authentic scale of the lightboxes was achieved using a thin, LED-lit panel in the back of the frames which can be laser cut to any bespoke shape.’

Simon Webb said: ‘I wanted to exhibit the playing card artwork in a unique, vibrant way echoing the bright lights of Las Vegas and its gambling, casino, playboy culture. Printing the artwork in Duratran format and exhibiting them in bespoke playing card shaped light-boxes fitted these requirements perfectly. The dimmer switch and gold/black chandelier cable gave the light boxes further elegance and sophistication.’

The cards were something of a personal project for photographer Simon Webb who was inspired by the work of Alberto Vargas, in particular a set of playing cards created by the painter in the 1950s. Vargas was one of the most famous painters of pin-up girls in the 1940s and 50s and his paintings, known as Vargas Girls, provided inspiration for the nose art of WW2 bomber planes and featured in Playboy Magazine throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.

From a fitting launch event at the Playboy Club in London, the artworks have been exhibited at the Lights of Soho Gallery alongside the work of the late God’s Own Junkyard neon artist, Chris Bracey. Most recently, the pin-up girl cards have been exhibited at advertising agency, Leo Burnett.