Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Train arriving on track two

A portion of an illustration for Park East magazine (June 1952).

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Train kept a-rollin'

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.

The deviltry is in the details

We've posted several complete Flora works below. However, one mission of this blog is to post details of Flora's complex artistic madscapes. There are several reasons, not the least being our desire to spark surprise when we publish complete works in future books. Details serve as teasers.

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.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

The artist at play

Unpublished (and likely unexhibited) artifacts from Jim Flora sketchbooks

Tempera on paper, early 1960s

Pen sketch, early 1940s