Jim Floraames (Jim) Flora is best-known for his wild jazz and classical album covers for Columbia Records (late 1940s) and RCA Victor (1950s). He authored and illustrated 17 popular children's books and flourished for decades as a magazine illustrator. Few realize, however, that Flora (1914-1998) was also a prolific fine artist with a devilish sense of humor and a flair for juxtaposing playfulness, absurdity and violence.

Cute — and deadly.

Flora's album covers pulsed with angular hepcats bearing funnel-tapered noses and shark-fin chins who fingered cockeyed pianos and honked lollipop-hued horns. Yet this childlike exuberance was subverted by a tinge of the diabolic. Flora wreaked havoc with the laws of physics, conjuring flying musicians, levitating instruments, and wobbly dimensional perspectives.

Flora's TriclopsTaking liberties with human anatomy, he drew bonded bodies and misshapen heads, while inking ghoulish skin tints and grafting mutant appendages. He was not averse to pigmenting jazz legends Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa like bedspread patterns. On some Flora figures, three legs and five arms were standard equipment, with spare eyeballs optional. His rarely seen fine artworks reflect the same comic yet disturbing qualities. "He was a monster," said artist and Floraphile JD King. So were many of his creations.

JimFlora.com exhibits samples of Flora's fine art, commercial assignments, sketches, prints, books, and memorabilia. Our goal is to bring Flora's work to renewed prominence. We have published four anthologies of Flora art, and several more are planned. Working with the Flora family we are producing and marketing prints (in several formats) of the artist's idiosyncratic images. Flora spread paint on paper. We're spreading Flora over the planet.

Jim Flora once said that all he wanted to do was "create a little piece of excitement." He overshot his goal with much of his work.



THE SWEETLY DIABOLIC
ART OF JIM FLORA

Paintings, drawings, sketches, and commercial illustrations from the 1940s thru the '90s, plus more Columbia Records artifacts. Also rare (and bizarre) early children's book drafts. By Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon. Designed by Laura Lindgren. Published by Fantagraphics, July 2009.

 

THE CURIOUSLY SINISTER ART OF JIM FLORA
The first publication of dozens of rare fine art works by the artist, along with woodcuts, commercial illos, and early Columbia Records artifacts. By Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon. Designed by Laura Lindgren. Published by Fantagraphics, February 2007.

 

THE MISCHIEVOUS ART OF JIM FLORA
Record covers, Columbia Coda illos, Little Man Press artifacts, and more. By Irwin Chusid. Image Restorations by Barbara Economon. Designed by Laura Lindgren. Published by Fantagraphics, October 2004; 2nd ed. (rev.) February 2007.




Recent releases:


Little Rock Getaway
Edition of 25


The Big Bank Robbery

Edition of 30


Ferris Wheel Fireworks

Edition of 30


G3 in Tampico

Edition of 25

White Block Quadrupeds

Edition of 25

Big Evening
Edition of 25



Railroad Town

LIMITED EDITION 2007 RELIEF PRINTS
OF MASTERWORK 1951 FLORA WOODCUT


JimFlora.com offers limited edition relief prints struck from an intricate and well-preserved original Flora woodcut depicting a decadent, manic panorama. Railroad Town comprises a catalogue raisonné of Flora fixations: music, dogs, trains, rogues, and toothpick towers. A macabre terpsichore frolics across the stage: junkyard hounds, a half-pint holdup man, modern-art genitalia, a speeding doorless car, quadruped humanoids—everything but empty space. There's even a railroad! The image measures 11" x 22", and the full Railroad Town edition print (with border) measures 18-3/4" x 30".

 





The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora
A book and an exhibit in celebration of Flora's album art


We're having very belated book launch party/exhibit for The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora, at a great Brooklyn club/gallery called Jalopy. The exhibition, which runs thru August 22, showcases dozens of vintage LPs and 78 rpm album covers illustrated by Flora, as well as selected works from our fine art prints gallery and some Flora music-themed rarities.

What the hell is going on in Tenement K?!?




The Miraculous Mambo Returns!



In 2012 we sold the last of our 200 oversized Mambo For Cats screen prints. To celebrate the publication of The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora, we're launching the iconic 1955 Flora RCA Victor LP cover in a newly formatted limited edition (gicle, approximately LP size, different paper & inks).

Jim Flora Flora 2014 Centennial
Exhibit planned at
Silvermine Art Center


In 2014 we'll mark the 100th anniversary of the January 25, 1914 birth (in Bellefontaine, Ohio) of Jim Flora with a career-spanning exhibit at Silvermine Arts Center, Norwalk CT. Jim and his artist wife Jane were members of the Silvermine Guild for many years, so this exhibit represents a sort of homecoming. The show opens September 21, 2014, and will run to November 2. Still in the early planning stages, the exhibit will feature original paintings from the 1940s to the 1990s, as well as sketches, woodcuts, unpublished artifacts, music business ephemera, and commercial illustrations. Sample images are posted on Silvermine's Facebook page.

Jim Flora Wall Coverings
From Astek, Inc., Double E Co. and JimFlora.com




Our fine art prints can be displayed on your walls. But thanks to Astek and Double E, you can now cover entire walls with Jim Flora's mischief and mayhem. Drawing from Flora's archival music images, paintings, and abstract designs, the Flora Collection brings what the artist termed "a piece of excitement" to any space. Wild and playful, many of these splashy designs are suitable for children's rooms, recording studios, and dens. Double E Co. was founded by two Floraphiles, Eva Firshein and Elsa Menendez, and all images are fully authorized by the Flora family.

 


: author/editor/content   |   Barbara Economon: image restoration   |   Site design by Example7

All images © Jim Flora Art LLC, except where noted. All rights reserved.