Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle Hosts
a Rare Exhibition by Celebrated Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Artist Jim Flora
"Flora's designs are magically simple distillations
of Cubism, Surrealism and cartoon madness,
with playful figures and instruments floating in planes of color."
– The New York Times
Fantagraphics Bookstore is pleased to present
“The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora,” an extraordinary
exhibition of original art, prints, and Flora ephemera.
The exhibit opens on Saturday, September 22 with a festive
reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
The show continues through October 24, 2007 at
1201 S. Vale St. in Seattle’s Georgetown district.
Prior to his death in 1998 at the age of 84,
Flora was best known as the designer and illustrator of
classic album covers and promotional material for
RCA Victor and Columbia Records in the 1950s. Flora’s manic
caricatures of jazz legends like Benny Goodman,
Louis Armstrong, and Gene Krupa wreaked havoc with the laws
of physics, conjuring flying musicians, levitating instruments,
and wobbly dimensional perspectives.
He went on to become a successful children’s book illustrator
as well as a prolific artist and printmaker.
His idiosyncratic art went largely unheralded until aficionados
of anachronistic aesthetics rediscovered it.
Flora’s unique style subsequently became highly influential
in the current “Low Brow” and “Pop Surrealist” art movements.
The current issue of Juxtapoz arts journal comments,
"Flora was an originator, a man whose style has
been borrowed for years. He was a complete puzzle
of an artist — a children's illustrator, but also a
cynical and sinister soul searching all the depths of his psyche."
Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books has published two
posthumous volumes of Flora’s singular art
and illustration: The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora (first printing 2004),
and The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora (2007).
Flora archivist/author Irwin Chusid explains, “I find things on the
scrap-heap of history that I know don't belong there and salvage them."
A WFMU radio personality since 1975, he wrote the first
chronicle of “outsider music,” Songs in the Key of Z, and
produced the first CD reissues of recordings by Raymond Scott, Esquivel,
and The Langley Schools Music Project. Co-archivist/author Barbara Economon
shares Chusid’s fascination with esoteric pop culture and currently serves
as Visual Arts Resource Librarian at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
The opening reception on Saturday, September 22 is free
and open to the public of all ages. Authors Irwin Chusid
and Barbara Economon will be present. The Moon Spinners
will perform musical interludes of period exotica.
A selection of imagery is available for publication.
For additional information contact Eric Reynolds at numbers above.
“The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora”
September 22 – October 24, 2007
Opening Reception, Saturday September 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Music by the Moon Spinners. Free admission.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.)
Seattle, WA 98108
Open Daily 11:30 - 8:00 PM. Sundays until 5:00 PM.
Georgetown Records • 1201 S. Vale Street, Seattle, WA 98108 &bull 206-762-5638