Michael Flohr (born 1975 in Lakeside, California) is a contemporary oil painter who is best known for his impressionistic urban landscapes. His scenes are known for “depicting ordinary moments in extraordinary ways” and his work has been called, “an intellectually artistic mastery of color, perspective, technique and vision that redefines impressionism and abstract expressionism”.
Michael Flohr was introduced to art at an early age. As a five-year-old child, Michael Flohr was diagnosed with dyslexia. He went to tutoring in the mornings, where he was first instructed in painting, and began oil painting at the age of eight. Flohr went to work in a casino in San Diego, but still had an affinity for painting. Flohr attended the San Francisco Academy of Art University, where he “experimented with all types of media and artistic styles”.
“During his final year at the school he received the Herman Lambert Scholarship at the prestigious New York Society of Illustrators, exhibiting among the likes of Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish”. Michael Flohr graduated from the San Francisco Academy of Art University in 2000. In the same year, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum included Michael Flohr’s paintings into its exhibition in Golden Gate Park. Flohr then traveled to Europe to study impressionistic techniques.
Michael Flohr’s technical style, loosely defined as “Urban Impressionism”, “has been described as a combination of avant-garde, abstract expressionism and impressionism”. He uses square brush strokes with elevated texture.When asked about his influences, Flohr says: “The works of impressionist artists throughout history inspire me, specifically Pissaro, Monet, Manet, and Degas. Like these artists, I prefer to work in oils. I love oil paint because of its durability and the richness it brings to the canvas. I also believe that most people with an appreciation for art respect an artist’s use of this classic medium.
I do not work with models. I prefer to sketch ‘in the moment’ as a scene unfolds, most often with charcoal. Many times, these sketches will become works of art in themselves, because they capture a different mood. Sometimes I work with candid photographs. I look for visual clues in a scene and then consider the overwhelming choices of color I can use to create my interpretation of an image. Observation is everything for me. Whether it is seen, heard or read; it is all connected to that which can be processed into a visual.”
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