Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Flora, Raymond and Takashi

We received a photo of this festive tableau from our good friend (and devoted Floraphile) in Japan, Takashi Okada. The greeting card, a vintage artifact ca. 1944, was purchased by Takashi from the Flora collection a few years ago.

Behind the card sits a demo of Takashi's forthcoming Raymond Scott Songbook, a 2-cd collection of rare Scott archival recordings and new cover versions by a variety of artists. Positioned to the right is a figurine of Raymond Scott, manufactured by PressPop of Japan in commemoration of the Scott centennial in 2008.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

disjointed man

Untitled ink on paper, 1942, first published in The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora (2007, Fantagraphics).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Saturday Night In Stonington

Lisa Hirschfield visits the soon-to-be-relocated Flora collection in Norwalk CT, October 28. Work displayed: Saturday Night In Stonington, a previously unpublished original tempera on paper, ca. 1968. The collection, in storage since the artist's death in 1998, will be distributed to various parties for interim care. Works are for sale. Drop us an email to inquire.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Big Bank Robbery Jigsaw Puzzle

NEW: the Jim Flora Big Bank Robbery wooden jigsaw puzzle by Artifact Puzzles. This 302-piece work features a mischievous and colorful 1960s Flora painting. The puzzle, which measures 10.5" x 16", was laser-cut from 1/4" thick wood and comes packaged in a pinewood case.

The irregular edges of each puzzle piece were inspired by Flora's art and themed to the image by puzzle artist Tara Flannery.

The Big Bank Robbery has long been available as a fine art print in a limited edition of 30, but only three prints remain. The work was first published in our second book, The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora (2007).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

any similarity between ...

... is purely coincidental.

Jim Flora, untitled and unpublished tempera draft, mid-1950s:

The Magnetic Fields, 2012:

Friday, July 6, 2012

summer fun

Illustration detail, "What is Automation," Collier's magazine, March 16, 1956. The optimistic take: "Automation has been heralded by some as the threshold to a new Utopia, in which robots do all the work while human drones recline in pneumatic bliss." There was a counterbalancing pessimistic view, but in observance of the current summer heat wave, we'll stick with the sunshinier forecast. 

We're still looking forward to consumer helicopters with open-air cockpits.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Fourth of July

The work isn't titled, and there's no specific reference to Independence Day, but this unpublished 1990s acrylic on canvas suggests celebratory patriotism and civic pride, so we'll offer it as tribute to our nation's founding 236 years ago today.

P.S. This non sequitur works too. Illustration from The Fabulous Firework Family, Flora's first (1955) children's book.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Picasso of Jazz

Thanks to Clayton Walter for a nice little Flora gallery at his Claytonology blog:
"I think of Flora as the Picasso of Jazz; his other-worldly depictions of Jazz musicians capture perfectly the vibe of a certain era of the music—brash, swingin' and full of ecstatic movement. There's another side to Flora as well. If you look closely at his LP illustrations, beyond the exciting flash,  you see a cunning method to his cartoonish madness."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bix, birthday boy (and Flora tattoo #3)

Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke (1903-1931)

Today is the 109th birthday of Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke, an American "hot jazz" legend who's been dead for 81 of those years. Bix was an alcoholic who never took a legal drink in his life. He was underage when Prohibition commenced in 1919, and died before it was repealed in 1933.

Jim Flora, who loved jazz, rendered a caricature of this revered cornetist on a 1947 Columbia Records 4-disc set. Last week we issued a limited edition fine art print of the illustration. Despite his brief, sordid life, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential musicians of the 1920s, the only decade commonly identified with a specific strain of music — "The Jazz Age." Bix lived it, and helped define it.

P.S. Bix and Flora also helped define this man's arm:

Photo: Julie Belcher/Yee-Haw Industries

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bix & Tram print released

Today we launch a new limited edition fine art print of a classic mid-century Flora album cover. Bix and Tram was one of the artist's earliest record sleeve illustrations, issued by Columbia in 1947 on a 78 rpm 4-disc set. The cover features outlandish caricatures of two legendary bandmates from the 1920s "hot jazz" scene: cornetist Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke and saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer.

Despite what appear to be mutant facial and cranial features, in fact these figures look exactly like Bix and Tram! Bix was scarlet-complexioned due to his overindulgence of bathtub gin, and Trumbauer was green from showering in money. Little-known historical facts. No need to thank us. Come back often.

The work has been issued in a limited edition run of 25 hand-numbered prints. Prices will increase as the edition sells down.

Monday, March 5, 2012

traffic snarls

Miserable pedestrian—what part of "beep" don't you understand?

Untitled, unfinished tempera on board (detail), 1950s. Purpose unknown.