Jim Flora . The devil is in, (or behind) the detail
Jim Flora had a rather devilish sense of humour and a knack for intermixing playfulness with the absurd. Here’s a few early sketches and woodblocks that he created.
Born in 1914 his work was noticed initially by musical audiences, dancing on his wild Jazz and classical album covers for Columbia Records in the 1940’s and RCA Victor in the 1950’s. His website says that ” 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. Taking 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.” And they were telling the truth !
A few Magazine articles.
Countryside meets cityscape.
Jim Also created illustrations for over 17 Children’s books, a couple are featured below, more here.
This great A to Z of ‘not so obvious’ words from Jim’s era.
After living in Mexico in the 1950’s Jim’s work reflected elements of mexican folk lore and later on a love of the sea and sea craft too.
His family have created a great set of greeting cards based on his work which are available in the ‘little shop of Flora’s on their site.
I also discovered a fabulously, funky range of wallpapers printed by Design Your Wall. Lovely colour schemes and selections of Jim’s most popular illustrations. What a great idea, I’ll take three rolls of the yellow skyscrapers please !
For more links to Jim’s weird and wonderful work have a look here on his families website.