Monday, April 28, 2008

The Faded Line launches Jim Flora apparel

Jim Flora merchandise

Jim Flora Official Merchandise

Jim Flora (1914-1998) is renowned for his wild jazz and classical album covers for Columbia Records (1940s) and RCA Victor (1950s). He wrote and illustrated 17 popular children's books and flourished for decades as a magazine illustrator. Few realize, however, that Flora was also a prolific fine artist with a devilish sense of humor and a flair for juxtaposing playfulness, absurdity and mayhem.

His album covers pulsed with angular hepcats bearing funnel-tapered noses and shark-fin chins, guys who fingered cockeyed pianos and honked lollipop-hued horns. Flora wreaked havoc with the laws of physics, conjuring flying musicians, levitating instruments, and wobbly dimensional perspectives. He was not averse to pigmenting jazz legends like bedspread patterns. On some Flora figures, three legs and five arms were standard equipment, with spare eyeballs optional.

Flora has posthumously added The Faded Line Clothing Co. to his client roster: his estate, Jim Flora Art LLC, has authorized us to feature vintage Flora figures on a festive line of casual apparel. 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. You will soon be able to wear that visual excitement.

A selection of Flora LP covers was published in The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora (Fantagraphics, 2004). A second book, The Curiously Sinister Art of Jim Flora (2007), features dozens of Flora's rarely seen early paintings, woodcuts, prints, sketches, and commercial assignments. See more Flora works online at and

Bio Courtesy of Irwin Chusid.

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