Friday, December 25, 2009

Jim Flora

Here's a look at the work of Jim Flora:

Vintage music buffs and eBay trawlers have long been bedazzled by bizarre, cartoonish record sleeves tagged with the signature "Flora." In the 1940s and '50s, James (Jim) Flora designed dozens of diabolic cover illustrations, many for Columbia and RCA Victor jazz artists. His world pulsed with angular hepcats bearing funnel-tapered noses and shark-fin chins, who fingered cockeyed pianos and honked lollipop-hued horns. In the background, geometric doo-dads floated willy-nilly like a kindergarten toy room gone anti-gravitational. Jim Flora wreaked havoc with the laws of physics, conjuring up flying musicians, levitating instruments, and wobbly dimensional perspectives. As he reflected in a 1998 interview, "I got away with murder, didn't I?"

Jim Flora jazzed up the world of commercial art in countless ways: magazine covers and interior illustrations; newspaper graphics; sales lit; ads; 17 children's books; and a catalog of unclassifiable artifacts. Jim Flora had fun making a living, and that sense of fun sizzles in his creations.

Read more here.

Flora's ABC cards:

Covers designed for magazines:


Beautiful art:

Covers for Coda, a monthly new-release booklet put out by Columbia records in 1943:

And finally, album art:

To see more of Flora's work go here.

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