Fawning Over Flora (or) Man, I Loves Me Some Art History

I thought I'd wield my mighty blogging power and shine a light on the work of mid-20th-century American illustrator Jim Flora. I've sort of been dosing myself on Modernism for a project at work (especially American Modernism, which has a lot more wit than it's dry European cousin, the stuffy Swiss International Style). I really like Flora. I shall be swiping heavily from (as well as Russian Constructivism, Paul Klee and Fernand Léger) him over the next few weeks.

He draws heavily from Surrealism, Dada and Cubism, (aka: "the Holy Trinity") while still making work that is approachable and - more importantly to record companies in the 40's and 50's - marketable, while still managing to inject his work with a healthy dose of good old James Ensor "I forgot to take my crazy pills" pathos. He's like the illegitimate offspring or Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney.

That's a good thing.

As far as record packaging artists go, he's one of the pillars of the field and you can see his fingerprints all over contemporary illustration annuals as well as in the subcultures of urban vinyl and poster art.

There are two books of his art (both of which I am lusting after, BTW), a website dedicated to him and a blog that regularly posts work from his archives.

And that's your dose of culture for the day. Don't it feel good?


chanel said...

flora, fauna, and merryweather- three fairies from sleepign beauty- there's YOUR dose of culture for the day. :)

Jesse said...

I don't know who any of those people are (well I guess I've heard of Dali and Disney)...but that was a decidedly filling and satisfying morsel of pop/art culture.