Manhattan Red

545.00

2008 (date of print)
1954 (date of original work)
Digital print giclée
Edition of 25
33 x 48 cm

Only 1 left in stock

Description

La Fiambrera Art Gallery offers a limited-edition, archival-quality fine art print derived from a series of 1954 hand-tinted relief prints of a work entitled Manhattan. The cityscape depicts New York in its 1950s glory, including such gotham landmarks as the Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the UN, Madison Square Garden, the Statue of Liberty, famous theaters and legendary musical bistros, Washington Square arch, a NY Public Library lion, subways, taxis, horse-drawn carriages and tourists. The original Manhattan woodcut was carved by Flora around 1954. The original edition was not numbered, and it is unknown how many prints were struck from the block. A dozen vintage hand-colored prints remain in the Flora collection.

The prints have been meticulously replicated from an original hand-colored print. Only twenty-five prints (plus proofs) of Manhattan (Blue) were produced for this edition. Each print is numbered in the lower right corner beneath the image and authenticated on the reverse with the stamped seal of Jim Flora Art. Prices will increase as the edition depletes.

A high-resolution scan was made of the original art, a hand-colored relief print on paper. All aspects of the original artwork (with Flora’s titling in the lower left and signature in the lower right) have been retained, including minor aging artifacts which in no way detract from the overall impression. The image area is 11-3/4″ high x 14-3/16″ wide, including the signature/title field centered on a sheet 13″ high x 19″ wide. The printed image is surrounded by a white border that is a 1/2″ at the top and bottom of the sheet and 2-3/8″ on the left and right sides. The prints are on heavyweight (310g) mould-made William Turner stock, a natural white, 100% rag paper with a fine toothy surface manufactured by Hahnemühle, who are renowned for premium-grade archival papers.

The edition was produced using Epson UltraChrome K3 Pigment Ink Technology, resulting in brilliant, velvety color and offering excellent longevity and durability. Due to the fine art print’s higher-resolution process, as well as superior paper, inks, and quality control, the colors in the print appear brighter, crisper, and more vibrant than the online image. Online color appearance may vary slightly depending on your monitor settings.

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.