Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Choo-choo, woo-woo! Another small segment from a larger work (also featured in its entirety in The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora). No date attributed to this work, nor is it titled, but its whistle has a familiar refrain.
Jim Flora's affinity for the railroad yard and its denizens dates back to the mid-1930s when he returned to his home state of Ohio after exploring a brief scholarship granted to him by the Boston Architectural League, unfortunately cut short by economic hardships of the Depression. Flora's uncle, a night foreman for the Cincinnati Railroad Terminal Roundhouse, procured the architectural dropout a job wiping soot from steam locomotives for 25 cents an hour. It was nephew Jim's rent gig for the next two years while he attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
However, in a Flora mise-en-scène the details are "complete" works unto themselves. Isolating figures provides an opportunity for closer scrutiny. A typical image-dense Flora montage so overwhelms the eyes it's easy to overlook nuance. The gremlins are almost subliminal.
Here's a mere 2" x 5" patch from a 13" x 10" early 1950s untitled Christmas montage. This little tableau represents one-twelfth of the entire work (which is featured in The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora).
The original montage was adapted for a Park East magazine cover in December 1952.