Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Errant Postulant

Two characters, five legs. This acrylic on canvas (15-3/4" x 20", late 1990s) almost made it into our forthcoming book, but was edged out by a plethora of prominent works. Flora produced some interesting, mystifying paintings in his final decade (after, by his own admission, "painting myself out of boats" in the late 1980s). Above is a low-grade snapshot corrected in Photoshop; the recently discovered work has not yet been professionally documented.

A postulant is someone who submits a request or applies for admission, especially into a religious order. Errant means straying, deviating from a proper course, or roving adventurously. Like, y'know, Julie Andrews.

UPDATE (10 May 09): The work was professionally photographed last week and is now slated for reproduction as a fine art print later this year.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tokyo had Godzilla ...

Paris had this unnamed gargantuan invader. In the foreground, a Van Dyke-bearded, top-hatted anatomical spare part flees from impending carnage, his method of self-propulsion unknown.

Spot illustration, Columbia Coda, Nov-Dec. 1943, having something to do with composer Frederick Delius—but after reading the booklet's accompanying text, we're not certain what.

Friday, April 24, 2009

a bird in the hand

Detail, Inside Sauter-Finegan RCA Victor LP cover, 1954. I bought this record at a yard sale in 1974 just for the sleeve illustration, which graced my living room wall. Never got around to dropping the needle on the vinyl. But you can listen to (and watch) Bill (Finegan) and Eddie (Sauter) on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

hands, columns, keyboard

Spot illustration, table of contents page
Columbia Disc Digest, April 1946

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Look Homeward, Angel (colophon)

One of over 40 pocket-sized tempera illustrations Flora rendered in the mid-1940s for an apparently never-published edition of Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel. Illustrations survive for all chapters save one (chapter 30), as well as for the title page, colophon (above), and the book's three sectional divides. No documentation exists in the archives explaining the destiny or disposition of the series. Several illustrations were published in The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora; the rest remain in the vault.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Iz pussyfootin on ur Floraz, hiping new boook

Takashi Okada of Tokyo alerts us that volume 2 of his kitty-themed LP sleeve anthologies will be published imminently. The cover (above) features — well, it doesn't quite feature Flora's Mambo For Cats, but the artwork does play a "supporting role." The photographer is apparently distracting the cover model with a cheezburger.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Rover Boys

The Rover Boys, tempera on board, ca. 1943. The work was presented as a wedding gift to Clara Gee Kastner and Stanley Stamaty, Flora's classmates and friends from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. (Clara and Stan are the parents of cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty.) No idea if the triple-headed figure was intended to portray the Rover lads of literary fame. The work was reproduced in The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora

A pen and pencil sketch was later discovered in the Flora collection on a multi-panel sheet of unrelated drawings:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

spotted kitteh

Pencil sketch, ca. 1940-42. A refined wood- or linocut of this critter appeared in the 1942 Little Man Press chapbook GUP, one of many Flora spot illustrations adorning the Robert Lowry story "The Hotel."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Vaya Laredo

Detail, Vaya Laredo, pen & ink, 1998. Full work to be reproduced in The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora, scheduled for Fall 2009 publication by Fantagraphics Books.

Friday, April 3, 2009

another from the skull gallery

Pencil sketch, early 1940s. Pulled-apart facial features linked by pin-lines is a common motif in early 1940s Flora sketches and paintings. Previous examples here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.