Entangled Couple

180.00

2008 (date of print)
1965 (date of original work)
Serigraphy
Artist proof. Edition of 100
40,5 x 30,5 cm

Only 1 left in stock

Description

Jim Flora left a huge legacy of untitled—and unseen—art. We’re offering this screen print of a curious couple painted by Flora in the mid-1960s. Entangled Couple was discovered (along with a dozen more) in an artist’s sketch tablet in the Flora collection.

The prints were produced in a limited edition of 100 using Flora archivist Barbara Economon’s high-resolution digital scan of the original painting. The trademark “Flora” signature — mid-1960s vintage — which did not appear on the original works, has been added in the lower right of each print.

Each printed and trimmed sheet is 16″ x 12″ (including a 3/4″ margin around the active artwork). The prints use acrylic screen inks on off-white 100-lb., archival-quality, uncoated cover stock (French Paper Co.’s “Whitewash”). Each print is hand-numbered on the front and authenticated on the reverse.

Edition prints for this work are sold out. However, we are offering the existing printer’s proofs (25 were originally produced). The proofs are of comparable quality, but have a different numbering protocol than the edition copies (“PP” before the number). Great effort is made to ensure the quality and craftmanship of each print. Given the organic nature of the screen printing process, small spots or specks are often present on some prints. However, such minute imperfections are common and do not detract or distract from the image itself.

Jim-Flora-1950s-photo-bioJim Flora, United States Of America, (1914 Bellefontaine, Ohio - 1998 Rowayton, Connecticut)

James (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. At the time, few knew that Flora 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. 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. His fine art works reflect the same comic yet disturbing qualities.

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.

Born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1914, James Flora was trained at the Art Academy of Cincinnati (1936-39). After struggling as a commercial freelancer, in 1942 he moved to Connecticut after accepting a job in the Columbia Records art department. One year later the label appointed him art director. Flora revolutionized the look of Columbia's ads and retail circulars with his wild cartoonish illustrations. He was promoted several times, and though no longer art director, he began illustrating jazz album covers for the label in 1947. However, his executive chores with the company meant less opportunity to create art. In 1950, Flora resigned and moved to Mexico with his family.

After 15 months of exotic life south of the border, during which he and his wife created a mountain of art, Flora returned to Connecticut in 1951. He embarked on a lengthy and prosperous career as a freelance commercial artist, children's book author/illustrator, and album cover designer for RCA Victor. Despite the demanding deadlines, Flora found time to indulge his fine art impulses. He painted, sketched, created woodcuts, and made relief prints at home and during travels. Even in retirement, and particularly during the decade before his death in July 1998, he created an enormous body of work. For more information about Jim Flora Chusid and Economon have published three anthologies of his art with Fantagraphics Books: The Sweetly Diabolic Art of Jim Flora, The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora, and The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora. La Fiambrera Art Gallery is proud to present James Flora’s mischievous art to public thru his fine art prints, serigraph prints, and woodcuts, by special arrangement with the Jim Flora Estate and co-archivists Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon.