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Michael Flohr

“I am the guy in a café,” he says, “noticing a beautiful, warm, orange-violetlight chipping on people’sfaces across the room, and immediately thinking of ways to combine color andcapture that moment in my next painting.” Sometimes he is with penciland notebook, sometimes a camera. Observation is everything to him—whether seen, heard, or read, “it is all connected to thatwhich can be processed into a visual.”

Full Biography

“I can tell different feelingsand attitudes you get from people—from theirfaces and conversations—and I blend their figures andgestures.”

Nightlife in cafésmirrors the social status quo, he observes. “You get a lot of views on whatis going on in the world, hearing what people are saying. A man earning amillion dol-lars sits next to someone who can barely afford the beer they are drinking—so many different worlds cometogether in a bar or café.”


To some extent, Michael paints rath-erthan writes his social commentary. “I am not thebest writer,” he admits. “I have thesegreat thoughts and they come out better on canvas than as the written

word on paper.” His broad,square, brushstrokes, creating almost a mosaic effect, obscure the figures inhis paintings, leaving an illusion of the characters depicted to tell the storyin vivid, pure pigmented colors through their gestures and subtleties. At ayoung age it was found he suffered from dyslexia, and by second grade hadfallen behind in school. As a result, his parents arranged tutoring,

consisting of math, reading,and, best of all, art classes, where he excelled.


His father David, owner of anauto repair business, and his mother Sandy, who works in the family business,encouraged him in the arts. In fact, he says his mother is his best critic.Nurtured in a happy, fun home, Michael and his younger sister Kristine grew upin the small dusty town of Lakeside in San Diego County, a place he describesas “nice and safe.” Fishing tripson the nearby lakes with his father were a highlight of his youth. Andeverywhere Michael went, he took a notebook and drew.


“In high school, my Dad got me abass fishing boat, so instead of going went out on the lake, and while they fished,I drew. It kept me out of a lot of trouble,” he jokes.Later, he entered the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Encouraging himin his pursuit, his grandfather promised to pay half the college loans upon hisgraduation. “It showed me he believed in me.”


At the Academy Michaelexperimented with all types of media and artistic styles. “We had suchintense drawing classes,” he admits. He was one of thefew who elected, after a six-hour class, to take a three-hour optionalworkshop. “Covered in paint...I was alwayspainting,” he recalls, adding, “I wasn’t much into girls.I thought I would be this lonely artist, always single.”At the timehe lived in a one room studio apartment on Nob Hill, where he stacked his paintingsunder the bed and around the room.


Michael’s livingconditions may have been cramped, but his career was blossoming. In his finalyear at the Academy, he was accepted into New York’s Society ofIllustrators. The following year, the Society awarded him the prestigiousHerman Lambert scholarship. On graduating in 2000 from the Academy, he was honoredwith “Best of Show” at its springexhibition for his painting, “IrishCoffee.” That piece, together with twoothers, was later selected for exhibition at San Francisco’s de YoungMuseum.


After graduation, Michael touredEurope, peaking his interest in European culture. It was this experience thatled him to pursue his desire to capture the nuances of social interaction, citynightlife and cityscapes in hisartwork. “Seeing strangers intermingle inunfamiliar places is an

inspiration to me,” he says.There he can be found, in cafés and bars, with friends or,more often, his wife of just a few months, Melissa, whom he describes as hisinspiration. She is to be seen in many of  of is paintings—a figure in a red dress in the1920s style that she favors, recognizable only by her shadow and mannerisms. Helikens this effect to squinting your eyes in a crowd. The details blur andbecome simplified down to the bone structure.


“I am the guy in a café,” he says, “noticing a beautiful, warm, orange-violetlight chipping on people’sfaces across the room, and immediately thinking of ways to combine color andcapture that moment in my next painting.” Sometimes he is with penciland notebook, sometimes a camera. Observation is everything to him—whether seen, heard, or read, “it is all connected to thatwhich can be processed into a visual.”


He sketches the “moment” as a scene unfolds,often in charcoal. Many times, these sketches become works of art inthemselves. Back at his studio, the front room of the new home he shares withMelissa, he works in oil like the Impressionist artists through history thathave inspired him, enjoying the richness it brings to the canvas. Often,he paints late into the night, listening to jazz and blues, kept company byCosmo, an orange kitten, and Charlie, their dog of indeterminate breed.

His style has been described asa cornucopia of avant-garde, abstract expressionism, and impressionism. “I love thecolors of Cézanne, and try to take some of themfor my ownpaintings, adding a contemporary twist.” He was not afraid to usepure pigment, straight from thetube, acharacteristic Michael strives to emulate.In Rome, a candlelit exhibition ofMonet’swork left a lasting impressionon this young artist. He alsostudies the works of Manet, Pissarro, and Degas, as well as those ofToulouse-Lautrec. He admires thestructure and boldness of Michelangelo,and the sculptures of Rodin.

The challenge is not to make apainting lookoverdone, but to synthesize ascene down to its essence, he says, likening the technique to thatof John SingerSargent’s,using the least numberof brushstrokes. “Iwant to showthat a painting doesn’thave to bechallenging. It can just be something that pleases your eye. It doesn’t have to have a meaning. Youdon’t haveto dissect it. Enjoy its beauty andwhat it brings to you.”


Imagine a street scene at night whenit has just got done raining.There’sa windowabove with an orange light reflectedin a puddle below. Maybe thisreminds you of nights you’vebeen out, and where you havebeen, andwith whom. Michael captures thosemoments in time that bring backmemories to the viewer through hispaintings and prints.

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Artwork Collections

Illustiration Art Collection

Like Norman Rockwell, Seuss personally created every rough sketch, preliminary drawing, final line drawing and finished work for each page of every project he illustrated. Despite the technical and budgetary limitations of color printing during the early and mid-twentieth century, Dr. Seuss the artist was meticulous about color selection. He created specially numbered color charts and elaborate color call-outs to precisely accomplish his vision for each book. Saturated reds and blues, for example, were carefully chosen for The Cat in the Hat to attract and maintain the visual attention of a six-year-old audience. By the time Seuss’s book career took off, sharp draftsman skills were evident in drawings. His ability to move a storyline ahead via illustrations filled with tension, movement and color became a hallmark component of his work, and the surreal images that unfolded over six decades became the catalyst for a humorous and inspired learning experience.

Bronze Collection

Artist Leo Rijn, the inaugural sculptor for the Dr. Seuss Tribute Collection I, was selected to launch this project due to his prized work with some of today’s top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts (including Tim Burton, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg). Rijn has been identified as one of today’s brightest sculpting talents because of his ability to breathe life into the written word and successfully transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional works of art. Universal Studios commissioned Leo to develop and oversee the creation of numerous maquette scale models for the Monumental Dr. Seuss Sculptures at Seuss Landing in Orlando, Florida. Leo was instrumental in the art direction for many of the sculpted characters and buildings now on display at this permanent Seuss attraction. His strikingly accurate Seuss works embody a masterful and intuitive Seussian sensibility, establishing him as a leading talent in interpretive sculpting.

Taxidermy Colletion

Seuss embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.


Secret Art & Archives

Illustrator by day, surrealist by night, Seuss created a body of irrepressible work that redefines this American icon as an iconographic American artist. Yet, the Secret Art often shows a side of the artist that most readers, familiar with him through his classic children’s books, have never seen. This collection, created over a period of more than 60 years, encompasses the entirety of Seuss’s multi-dimensional talent. The artistic golden thread highlighted throughout this collection is apparent in each wildly imaginative and surreal Secret Art image. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is an inimitable collection of artworks created at night for his own personal enjoyment. These works were rarely, if ever, exhibited during his lifetime and provide a deeper glimpse into the art and life of this celebrated American Icon.

All Artwork
Current Originals
Limited Edition
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Star Wars
Lorenzo Ghiglieri
Laran Ghiglieri
Print on wood
Wall Art
Mixed Media
Bronze Sculpture
Across the Board
Beautiful Bell
Beautiful Florence
Beautiful Venice
Big CIty of Dreams
Blue Note
Bourbon St.
Cafe De Flore
Captured Moments
Churchills Downs
Ciao Bella
Classic Manhattan
Cocktails at Carmines
Coronado Beach Walks
Historic Romance
Homage to Fred
In The Mood
London Rain
Luck of the Irish
Lucky Number 4
Lunch with Degas
Makers Best
Martini for Two
New York City Rain
PFATW Amsterdam
PFATW Capital Building
PFATW Cuban Night Cap
PFATW Dreams of Madrid
PFATW Enamored
PFATW Grand Canal Venice
PFATW Historic St Charles
PFATW London Bridge London Tower
PFATW Metropolitan Cathedral Mexico City
PFATW Reflections of Paris
PFATW Taj Mahal
PFATW Twilight In Florence
Parisian Rain
Romance In the Rain
The Red Umbrella
Top Shelf
Venetian Lights
When in Rome
Win At the Preakness
Win at Belmont
Winter In Paris
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