Michael Flohr, one of Southern California’s hottest young ‘urban’ artists, has started to carve a niche for himself as an ‘urban painter.’ His work, actually the artist himself, is more than that: Flohr not only captures scenes of city life with his work, the work succeeds in imparting to the viewer the ‘feel’ and the ‘rhythm’ of the city.
Cities—especially vibrant ones such as Flohr’s most oft-used choice, San Francisco—have a current. A pace. A ‘groove’. And as much as we like to associate “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” with that city, when we go there at night, we just don’t hear Tony Bennett in our minds. We hear something a little more frenetic. A little more ‘allegretto.’ We hear Coltraine. We hear Dizzy. We hear Jazz.Flohr’s work, in my mind, is the visual equivalent of Jazz music. Jazz takes an eight or sixteen bar phrase, establishes it as a theme, then strays into an improvisational interpretation of that theme by seeing how far out it can get while still staying in the chords—which, by the way, is the origin of the 60’s hippy phrase, ‘far out’. Flohr’s work does that, too.
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