Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Le Sacre du Printemps

Flora created the Columbia Records new release monthly Coda in early 1943 and illustrated most issues thru 1945 (after which the journal morphed into Disc Digest). The March 1944 issue is one of Flora's most satisfying on an artistic level. The cover (above) illustrates a Columbia Masterworks four-disc album (price: $4.50) of Igor Stravinsky conducting his own Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), described in Coda as "a ballet based on the paganistic rituals of prehistoric Russia." The 1913 work's tumultuous history (it sparked riots) is chronicled in the release notes.

Many of the interior illos of this Coda issue were reproduced in our third anthology, The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ferris Wheel Fireworks (new print)

Today we launch a new Jim Flora fine art print: Ferris Wheel Fireworks, adapted from Flora's second kiddie book, The Day the Cow Sneezed (1957). The long-sought book will be reprinted this fall by Enchanted Lion. At that time we'll issue a print of the book cover, which includes the artist's fabulous hand-typography. However, during the image restoration process, Flora archivist/printmaker Barbara Economon saw the print possibilities of the book's chaotic two-page (34-35) tableau. The book's sequence of catastrophic events that caused the above turmoil were triggered by a cow's sneeze.

The work is now available as a limited edition (30), archival-quality fine art print.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flora as interior decor

Akiko Hashimoto sends this snapshot from her home in Japan:

The Flora prints displayed are The Big Bank Robbery (ca. 1963) and Gunfight on the Roof (ca. 1951). A series of original 1950s Flora LPs sits on a shelf below.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fletcher Henderson

Fletcher Henderson, tempera on paper, 1942, as reproduced in our third anthology, The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora. In the 1920s, exploring ideas gleaned from orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, pianist Henderson created the template for what evolved into the jazz "swing" big bands of the 1930s. He was one of the most influential musicians/bandleaders of the 1920s, but others achieved greater and more lasting fame developing concepts pioneered by Henderson.

Flora, a lifelong jazz enthusiast, rendered a number of works named after Henderson, including at least two sketches and two paintings.

The original was purchased from the artist by Eric Kohler in the 1990s. We thank Eric for providing the work for reproduction.