Silvermine Arts Center of Norwalk, CT is hosting a month long art exhibit that is all about that funky art of Jim Flora. An opening reception is scheduled for September 19th, from 6-8 pm to celebrate and groove to the iconic jazz inspired pieces. Currated by the co-archivist of the Jim Flora collection, Irwin Chusid has included some never seen before original paintings, woodblock carvings and intaglios.
The exhibit, The Mischievious Art of Jim Flora: A Fine Art Retrospective will run from September 20 - November 2. But if you can't make it out to Connecticut (though you really should; the leaves are changing colors and I hear it's just GORGEOUS this time of year), you can always pick up a copy of The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora, co-edited by the show's currator!
The now out of print collection, The Mischievious Art of Jim Flora will get new life in this lively art show!
Oslo, Norway: The land of my ancestors is hosting the Oslo Comics Expo June 12-14th, featuring special guest, Peter Bagge! The FREE event takes place at the Deichmanske Library at Grunerlokka, a gorgeous public library with a bar! (More details)
Brooklyn, NY: Original art fans will want to head to the Scott Eder Gallery for their opening reception of the "It's About Comics" exhibit, from 6-9 pm. Marvel at original works by Los Bros Hernandez, Woodring, Sala, Crumb, and many more. Can't say no to something you fall in love with? Pieces will be available to purchase! (More details)
Brooklyn, NY: Since you're already in BK, scoot on over to the Jalopy Theatre from 6-8 pm to catch the reception for the opening of the Jim Flora show, featuring work from the book The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora. Original album covers, proof sheets, and other artifacts to show off his zaney, jazz inspired work. (More details)
Saturday, June 14th
Seattle, WA: The annual Georgetown Carnival is going down this Saturday from Noon-10 pm! Beer gardens, three stages of live music, and the famous Power Tool Races, with an entry by our own Larry Reid. Pop into the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery for a rest, and scope some fantastic reads. The carnival is a perfect opportunity to discover all of the great things Georgetown has to offer: food, drinks, records, books, art and more! (More details)
For decades, Jim Flora made some of the grooviest album artwork for Columbia and RCA Victor records, and for the first time all of that high energy art was compiled into one complete anthology with the help of co-archivists and authors Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon. These ruckusly exuberant drawings, with eye-popping color, and post-cubist influence, are in constant motion. Original copies of some rare Flora album covers, proof sheets, and music artifiacts will be jumpin' off the walls at the Jalopy Theatre and Gallery.
Irwin Chusid will be on hand to sign and sell books amidst some swing and jazz tunes that influenced Flora's art, and vice versa. The FREE reception runs from 6-8 pm, but the art show will continue until August 22nd!
In celebration of what would've been Jim Flora's 100th birthday, the Rowayton Arts Center in Rowayton, CT, presents the exhibit The Amazing Art of Jim Flora.
This wonderful show is truly a family affair: it's curated by Jim's son, Joel Flora, and both Jim and his wife, Jane, were founding members of the RAC, and active members until their deaths (she in 1985; he in 1998).
About a dozen large pieces that represent just a fraction of Flora's long career will be displayed in the Portside Gallery.
Of his father's work, Joel Flora says, “My father had a wonderfully open and fertile imagination and I admired how he could access this store of fantastic images at will.”
The Rowayton Arts Center is located at 145 Rowayton Avenue. This wonderful exhibit will be on display through through March 29th. Can't make it to Connecticut this month? Feast your eyes on our collections of Flora's vibrant work, including our most recent collection, The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora!
Vacancies are available for a brand new Jim Flora art print, released just last week!
Titled Tenement K, this limited edition fine art print features residents who are bawdy, musical, criminal, and/or exhibitionistic. Doesn't matter if you're rowdy, serpentine, or headless — the landlord will rent you a room. If you were a mutant miscreant, you'd be home by now.
The previously unpublished and uncirculated work, which dates from the 1940s, is owned by a private collector who allowed them to have the work professionally photographed for print reproduction. Although the work is untitled, they have provisionally named it Tenement K to differentiate it from other untitled Jim Flora works.
Only forty prints of Tenement K were produced for this edition, so don't delay -- move in today !
To celebrate the publication of The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora, our fourth anthology of Jim Flora artwork — and one which features all of Flora's known album covers — the infamous Mambo for Cats is dancing yet again!
Although the original print run sold out last year, a new revived edition is now available. It's about album-cover size (40% smaller than the original screen print), and is produced on different paper with different inks thru an entirely different printing process (inkjet, or giclée). One other significant difference: the screen print was on cream-colored stock; the giclée stock is white.
THE HIGH-FIDELITY ART OF JIM FLORA arrived! This latest treasury of Jim's art is the closest to my heart, as it covers the exact material that led me to him in the mid 1940s-and which had an overpowering influence on my own graphic attempts. Everyone who followed my work in the Record Changer magazine, reproduced in the Fantagraphics book, THE CAT ON A HOT THIN GROOVE, knows that much of my stuff was flat-out Flora imitation-emulation, though I clearly knew all the while that Jim's endless graphic invention was inimitable.
Jim himself was in many ways a parallel of his iconic images, a sum of many parts, just as all the convoluted sassy segments strung-out in space joined into a dazzling whole. A genius of his order may have had every reason to be arrogant, distant, or cold-yet Jim was downright jolly, warm-hearted, caring and helpful. He never berated me for stealing his stuff, but rather encouraged me and worked with me. I tried to work more with him, but am grateful that I was at least able to produce animated versions of his FABULOUS FIREWORKS FAMILY at Terrytoons and LEOPOLD, THE SEE-THROUGH CRUMB-PICKER here in Prague. Best of all, I am proud that he became my close friend and regular correspondent. His final letter to me lingers in my heart. This new book of his further ensures that I will never forget him.
“Music releases my inhibitions. Gradually, I’m listening to music and my spirit gets free and I work without thinking. Which is how you really create—without thinking. Music — jazz in particular — helps me flow. I can swing a little bit — try this, try that.” – Jim Flora, interview, 1990
Since the publication of The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora in 2004, the once-overlooked illustrator (1914–1998) has gained recognition as one of the foremost pioneers of a raucous, cartoonish style of commercial art that defines the mid-century aesthetic. Two follow-up volumes of Floriana, The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora (2007) and The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora (2009), captured the artist’s devilish and largely unseen fine-art works. Each volume reflected recurring themes: architecture, cats and dogs, science, maritime, children’s literature, cars, trains, and penchants for mischief and visual violence.
But one of Flora’s sustaining loves was music. His 1940s and ’50s Columbia and RCA Victor record covers in which legendary musicians were routinely afflicted with mutant skin tints and bonus limbs are classics of caricature. Flora was art director for Columbia from 1943 to 1945 and remained with the company until 1950. During this period — and during the 1950s as a freelancer — he produced an enormous amount of promotional ephemera, including new release monthlies, trade booklets, ads, and point-of-sale novelties. Music was Flora’s lifelong passion, which he expressed in rhythmic design tinged with a wicked sense of the absurd.
The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora, long out of print, featured Flora’s known album covers at the time of publication (no complete discography ever existed). In the intervening nine years, more covers have surfaced, as well as rough drafts and unpublished designs.
Flora co-archivists Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon have compiled a complete collection of Flora covers (including recent discoveries) and unpublished sketches in one volume, augmented by music images not included in previous volumes. The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora is the definitive anthology of the maestro’s visual compositions, reflecting jazz, classical, and Latin music. Regarding his jam-packed canvases, Flora once said he “couldn’t stand a static space.” There’s nothing static about the images in The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora: they wail, dance, bounce, and swing from the chandeliers. Flora had a knack for grooving with a paintbrush, making art to which you can tap your toes and snap your fingers.
“Flora was one of those rare beasts: a killer illustrator/designer who could trigger powerful brain-invasive joy with thought-provoking art and unexpected design.” — Gary Panter
“There was one Flora cover in the record cabinet when I was growing up, and I was almost afraid to play it — maybe because the art came from a mad party in the Twilight Zone, or because nothing in the grooves could possibly have the energy and crazy glee of the cover. These manic little masterpieces belong framed on the wall in the Flora wing of a modern art museum.” — James Lileks
“Jim Flora is the missing link between graphic art and typography. No artist is better at juggling forms and the spaces between. He created an idiosyncratic artistic language, and he spoke a variety of artistic dialects as well.” — Joost Swarte
“I grew up in a household with these records. This book beautifully presents Flora’s album illustrations as stand-alone works of art. Flora’s designs speak directly to the excitement of music.” — Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo)
“Flora’s art is as fresh, appealing, and entertaining as when he was producing it — seemingly by the tons. His work shouts that the Cubists left off too soon. In the 1950s and ’60s, magazines and LP sleeves were splashed with his stylized designs, color, and playful figures. If tattoos were as popular then as now, people would’ve been covered from pate to toes with Flora.” — Arnold Roth
Since the 2004 publication of The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora, the once-forgotten illustrator has gained recognition as one of the foremost pioneers of a raucous, cartoonish style of commercial art that defines the Mid-Century aesthetic. Two follow-up volumes, The Curiously Sinister Art... (2007) and The Sweetly Diabolic Art... (2009), captured Flora's largely unseen fine art works, spotlighting a variety of themes such as architecture, cats and dogs, science, cars, trains — and the occasional swerve toward gratuitous violence.
But one of Flora's sustaining loves was music. His 1940s Columbia and 1950s RCA Victor record covers, in which legendary musicians were routinely afflicted with mutant skin tints and bonus limbs, are considered classics of outlandish post-Cubist caricature. During this period Flora also produced an enormous amount of promotional ephemera, including new release monthlies, trade booklets, ads, and point-of-sale novelties.
The now out-of-print Mischievous Art featured Flora’s known album covers. (No complete discography existed.) Since that book’s publication, more covers have been found, as well as rough drafts and unused designs. So Flora co-archivists/authors Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon have compiled a complete collection of Flora covers (including recent discoveries) and unpublished sketches in one volume, augmented by music images not included in previous volumes. The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora is the definitive anthology of the maestro's visual compositions, reflecting jazz, classical, and Latin music.
Regarding his jam-packed canvases Flora once said he "couldn't stand a static space." There’s nothing static about the images in The High Fidelity Art: they wail, dance, bounce, and swing from the chandeliers. Flora had a knack for grooving with a paintbrush, making art to which you can tap your toes and snap your fingers.
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