Making Sense of Showgirls

Showgirls movie poster

Showgirls movie poster

From Photo to Book Cover to Movie Poster

In 1992, famed Czech photographer Tono Stano (NSFW) produced an arresting black and white photograph entitled “Sense”. Stano is famous for posing models into suggestive shapes and symbols in his photography. Two years later, Stano’s “Sense” photograph was used as the book cover design for the photography book The Body: Photographs of the Human Form by William A. Ewing. The Stano “Sense” image was cropped slightly on the top for the Ewing book cover design, which made the photograph an even more abstract and effective visual shape.

Showgirls movie poster comparison

Showgirls movie poster comparison

MGM’s marketing department liked the image too, as they utilized the very same concept for the Showgirls movie poster for the infamous 1995 Paul Verhoven film. To be clear, MGM acquired licensing to use Tony Stano’s image for it’s Showgirls key art campaign, but it makes one wonder if the licensing before or after the movie poster was released. A Showgirls home video release of the poster art removed the original cropping of the photo (making it even closer to the original photograph), while a later Showgirls DVD release dropped the Stano inspired artwork altogether.

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  1. SwitchMarch 31, 2005 at 8:48 PMReply

    Though it does strike quite the pose, a distanced viewing makes for some freakish image. Now that’s what a lollipop woman looks like.

  2. Verhoeven Odds & Ends | Thighs Wide ShutOctober 11, 2010 at 10:41 PMReply

    […] repurposed for the Showgirls movie poster […]

  3. TEMPTATION’s Modern and Provacative Second Poster Debuts! | Very Aware | Movie and TV news, reviews and other goodnessJanuary 11, 2013 at 1:23 PMReply

    […] feels a little like the SHOWGIRLS poster (which was inspired by a Tono Stano photograph), […]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  4. Valet2October 12, 2020 at 10:54 AMReply

    My attempt of making same photo with a fellow model:

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