"Michael Flohr: The Big Easy." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2013: 10-11.
“Flohr creates a powerful sense of illumination, setting the stage for his subjects, who become players in a story both individual and familiar.”
“The Big Easy” is a name coined at the beginning of the Jazz Age, referring to the fact that New Orleans, Louisiana was a place where musicians could find work easily. The moniker, like the music, exemplifies the smooth, laid-back, down-to-earth nature of this magnificent American city. Named for Orleans in northern France, the city’s cultural heritage is clearly visible in its famed French Quarter, a major inspiration of contemporary urban impressionist Michael Flohr.
The French Quarter is an area familiar to most, if only because of the city’s world-renowned Fat Tuesday celebration, Mardi Gras. It is a place of brilliant colors and a freeing atmosphere, and Flohr’s latest exhibition of original works, “The Big Easy,” creates a vibe as unique as the city he portrays. Recalling fond memories of his honeymoon with his wife and muse, Melissa, Flohr’s imagery takes its cues from the vibrant charm found while strolling the area’s intimate, narrow corridors — scenes where love and music reverberate against ancient cobblestones.
Employing pure, bold colors in a manner that combines both Impressionist and Abstract Expressionist elements, Flohr creates a powerful sense of illumination, setting the stage for his subjects, who become players in a story both individual and familiar. Drawing on known locations and common human experiences, the artist invites viewers to write their own endings.
Flohr’s latest Fine Art Limited Edition, N.O.L.A. — another of the city’s well known nicknames — depicts a couple under a red umbrella as they stroll through the French Quarter on a warm rainy night. Bright lights reflect from the pools of water accumulating on the cobblestone street, bursts of color that lead the eye from one exceptional detail to the next. For more information on the exhibition, including the unveiling of N.O.L.A., please contact your art consultant.
Michael Flohr: Luck Be a Lady
"Michael Flohr: Luck Be a Lady." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2012: 10-11.
“Stick with me baby, I’m the guy that you came in with Luck be a lady tonight.”
You already know the favorites: Lady Luck, Let it Ride, Shaken Not Stirred. Michael Flohr’s urban impressionist paintings are all about the thrill of the moment, the rush of letting luck dictate your fate. This June, Michael Flohr will present an exhibition of paintings that highlight the romance and drama of casino life.
Flohr’s deliberate, impressionist brushstrokes strike the canvas like a winning hand. Combining skill and circumstance, his paintings come together piece by piece, aligning by color and shape. Just as a poker player wagers on his surroundings, Flohr’s paintings are created in a dialogue with the viewer and his response to the scene.
A night out in a new town, seeking human interaction in the busy, vibrant city; Flohr captures the intimate glance between strangers. He takes risks in his painting, embracing the rush that fills as we go “all in”. It’s not about reason. Like love, his art is about taking the chance.
It’s time to roll the dice and see what fortune brings at EC Galleries! June 23 and 24; join Michael Flohr and live the life of a high roller!
Michael Flohr: Taking It to the Streets
"Michael Flohr: Taking It to the Streets" Off the Easel Magazine. Fall 2011: 20-21.
What shapes your city’s identity? Whether they have always lived there or have left and only return from time to time throughout the rest of their life, people will always feel a close tie with their home town. It will always be a part of their identity and often influences their values and lifestyle preferences forever. For some, they know every street corner and have the memories to prove it. For others, it may be the places they have traveled to that leave a greater impact – and from that perspective, almost any city can start to feel like home. No matter where you are from, every city has those special places with a rich history that truly define its character. For Artist Michael Flohr, he finds a connection to home through a variety of landmarks: an old-fashioned theater marquee, a legendary hotel, a local watering hole…
An urban expressionist, Michael Flohr has had the distinct pleasure of traveling to galleries all over the United States and painting many of the beautiful cities that have opened their doors to him. Flohr’s unique way of not only capturing a place, but the essence and emotion that it evokes, is what his collectors are drawn to again and again. Many times, his ability to render a “feeling” in a scene is even more profound than his ability to produce the landmark accurately on canvas and Flohr’s works have been highly sought after by collectors throughout the world.
In addition to private collectors who commission Flohr to recreate their favorite places, he has also been asked to create works of art for the city itself. In fact, the city of Atlanta’s Southern Power Company commissioned Flohr to create a 14 foot by 18 foot painting of old Atlanta in 2005, which is now on public display in their downtown Atlanta headquarters.
In his quest to preserve the rich history of the be- loved cities throughout our great nation, Michael Flohr will embark on creating a special collection of paintings of the most notable American landmarks, featuring the identifiable symbol of the theater marquee. He will begin this artistic endeavor in 2012 and you can follow Michael Flohr’s progress on Facebook, where he personally invites you to share your suggestions for the upcoming collection. Upload photos of landmark theaters from your hometown or favorite city and tell us your story at www.facebook.com/ecgalleries.
From east to west coasts, these are a few of the great landmarks Michael Flohr has preserved on canvas:
New York, New York: Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, The Twin Towers
Saint Augustine, Florida: The Old City, The Lions Bridge, Saint Augustine Cathedral, The Blue Room at the Casa Monica Hotel
Atlanta, Georgia: The Fox Theater, The Virginia Highlands, Fontaine’s, Moe and Joes, The Olympic Fountain
New Orleans, Louisiana: Royal Street, Bourbon Street, The Napoleon House
Chicago, Illinois: The Chicago Theater, The Flatiron Building, Michigan Avenue, State Street
Denver, Colorado: The Bluebird Theater
Breckenridge, Colorado: The Hearthstone, Downtown Breckenridge
Portland, Oregon: The Portland Theater, The Morrison Bridge, Old Town
San Francisco, California: The St. Francis Hotel, Vesuvius, The Palace Hotel, Union Square, The Buena Vista, View to Alcatraz, The Transamerica building
Napa, California: The Martini House, Bouchon, Greystone, L’Auberge du Soleil
San Diego, California: Balboa Park, The Coronado Hotel, Del Mar Race Track, The Coronado Bridge, The Waterfront Grill, The US Grant Hotel, Historic Gaslamp Quarter, The USS Midway
Lahaina, Hawaii: Old Lahaina Town
Michael Flohr: Reclaiming "The Golden Age"
"Michael Flohr: Reclaiming 'The Golden Age'." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2011: 10-11.
Glittering lights, bright red dresses, the energy of a bustling urban landscape — each of these images recall the electrifying grandeur of the Roaring Twenties. Reverie imposes upon more pressing matters in response to a city’s sensory impressions, and we recall Nick Carraway’s observation from The Great Gatsby: “I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and wom- en and machines gives to the restless eye” (Fitzgerald 61).
Michael Flohr’s paintings illustrate that similar rush of unfiltered emotion. Although Flohr’s works speak so well for themselves, we try to understand why we find his work impacting. A professor once explained “epiphany” as this: “a feeling of a moment, complete, though passed. We need this to live; the ideal and the actual coincide.” Indeed, one cannot deny that we experience “a feeling of a moment” as we gaze upon San Diego artist Michael Flohr’s latest series, “The Golden Age”.
Referring to the term used for this period in Hollywood, “The Golden Age” spans the late 1920s to the early 1950s in America. It was an era that challenged and matured American identity. The arts flourished even in uncertain social, political, and economic times. The art deco movement and artistic photography lent a new creative voice. Jazz, blues, and swing pervaded city nightlife. Radio and cinema delivered accessible entertainment to the masses as movie theaters such as the Fox Theatre in Atlanta grew in popularity. The theatre still stands today, and in Michael Flohr’s painting, “Night at the Fox,” we come to realize that the past has a subtle message for the twenty-first century.
“The Golden Age” endures as people today recognize the way in which it has influenced the growth of modern life. Institutions and pastimes that we take for granted were considered radical and risqué. Gambling and drinking were driven underground to secretive speakeasies. Dancing flappers and Jazz Age music proclaimed their divergence from Victorian social practices. These amusements may seem common now, but the adamant public had to challenge the rules of their day in order to take delight in such entertainment. We look to artists, such as Michael Flohr, to interpret the facts and extract the important lessons of the past. It is difficult to explain just why we glorify the old gangsters and bootleggers, but they call to mind that “The Golden Age” required a fighting spirit. Ultimately, that spirit carried them through the Great Depression and drove the war effort in World War II and made the arts an enduring staple to modern life.
When Michael Flohr became inspired to paint a collection based upon “The Golden Age”, he looked to his grandfather, David Flohr. “You could say that he has been my inspiration for this project,” he affirms. David’s adventurous life as a Navy pilot, treasure hunter, and business entrepreneur has contributed to an everlasting impression upon his grandson’s San Diego. David helped to bring the U.S.S. Midway to San Diego Bay, where the iconic aircraft carrier now resides as a museum. The U.S.S. Midway and other reminders of one’s family legacies build up a romantic nostalgia that paintings such as “Timeless Moment” portray so well. Flohr chooses locations like Market Street in San Francisco because they intertwine the years and generations. They act as a reminder to give credit to those who strove to make their lives successful and fulfilling—an inspiration to us all.
Flohr’s Impressionist style, using square brushstrokes that obscure superfluous details, focuses on classical architecture, figures, and institutions. Consequently, he illustrates the way in which modern times venerate “The Golden Age” style. He explains, “I’m attracted to the visuals, the shape of the hats. Back then, they would take a little extra time. Every single person wore a suit.” Although less common today, these visuals take on a more idealized and romantic beauty than we are used to. His paintings do justice to one’s whimsical memory of a place or a person, and so Michael Flohr embellishes reality with his interpretive eye. In this way, Flohr composes a disjointed excitement in the viewer’s recognizing a familiar location. He juxtaposes the past and the present, the abstract and the material. Indeed, because what we see and what we want to see appear as one as “the ideal and the actual coincide”.
Join Artist Michael Flohr as he unveils his newest series of paintings that celebrate America’s “Golden Age”. Michael will appear at Exclusive Collections Gallery at Seaport Village on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 24th–26th , 2011. You won’t want to miss this exciting event!
Michael Flohr is Off to the Races!
"Michael Flohr is Off to the Races!" Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2010: 8-9.
Ladies, grab your broadest and brightest brimmed hats! Gentleman, hold on to your fedoras! This June, it’s “Off to the Races” as Artist Michael Flohr returns to EC Galleries with a spectacular series of new original works, all inspired by San Diego’s beloved Del Mar Racetrack.
One of the most anticipated shows this year, Flohr’s Off to the Races series of new original paintings draws inspiration from the nostalgia, excitement and significant history surrounding this famous landmark. From the intensity of the thoroughbreds and jockeys on the track, to the crowd’s dramatic hats in brilliant shades of color, Flohr reveals the essence of Del Mar’s legendary venue on canvas, as only a true San Diego native can.
Flohr’s boundless creativity and passion for exploring new landscapes and the people who inhabit them is apparent in each new body of work he releases. For his Off to the Races series, his admirers can expect close-ups of horses battling for a winning spot, the expressions and body language of the fans, and the unmistakable land- scape of “where the surf meets the turf.”
Most known for his urban scenes of city streets, night- clubs and his recent Jazz series of paintings that debuted in 2009, Flohr says he is particularly excited to take on a new challenge of capturing the powerful action of horses and jockeys in motion. In fact, it is rare to find artists who are willing to take on the task of translating the energy they see in front of them, and accurately portraying that moment on the canvas. Flohr’s ability to meet this challenge successfully is a testament to his remarkable skill and talent as an artist.
Besides his gift for capturing rapid movement, Flohr is often celebrated for his urban scenes that reflect quieter moments. He prefers not to use models, but rather to observe candid moments of people truly living their lives in cafés, bars, or out in the streets of a city. In addition to painting scenes from around his hometown of San Diego, another favorite muse of Flohr’s is the city of San Francisco. He has been credited with not just showing us a scene, but also imparting a “feel” and “rhythm” of the city to his viewer.
Flohr notes that one of the most alluring draws of the Del Mar Racetrack is the tradition surrounding Opening Day, where spectators boast modern interpretations of at- tire from the past, which continues to be representative of “the good life.” The dramatic hats, suits with suspenders and fancy cigars are such important details to assist him in further evoking a specific feeling in each scene he paints.
Flohr’s manipulation of light and color is inspired by the unseen beauty in seemingly ordinary occurrences. His grasp of showcasing moments of life in their truest form is much of what allows him to keep collectors around the world endlessly infatuated with what he might do next.
As most of our collectors know, Michael Flohr’s annual show offers guests a truly memorable experience you won’t forget. From the fantastic display of new paintings to spending time with this amazing artist in an intimate gallery setting, to the live music and fine wines—trust us when we say this is not a show to miss!