Lakeside, California, United States
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. As art continued to be a strength for Flohr, he decided to attend 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 began selling his artwork professionally in 2001, signing a contract for international distribution with Crown Thorn Publishing. He emerged as a young master and achieved enormous success in the following years. He sells originals and 195 fine art limited editions, 25 Artist's proofs, and 10 Printer's proofs.
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.
“[A painting] can just be something that pleases your eye. It doesn’t have to have a meaning. You don’t have to dissect it. Enjoy its beauty and what it brings to you.”
Exhibitions / Collections / Selected Works
- Exhibition, Irish Coffee, at San Francisco’s M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park
- New York Art Expo sell-out shows (2002–2009)
- 2007 Exhibition at Galeria del Mar, Saint Augustine, FL
- 2008 Exhibition at Galeria del Mar, Saint Augustine, FL
- 2009 Exhibition at Galeria del Mar, Saint Augustine, FL
- 2010 Exhibition at Galeria del Mar, Saint Augustine, FL
- 2010 Exhibition 'Off to the Races' at Exclusive Collections Fashion Valley Gallery, San Diego, CA
- 2011 Exhibition 'The Golden Era' at Exclusive Collections Seaport Village Gallery, San Diego, CA
- 2012 Exhibition 'Luck be a Lady' at Exclusive Collections Seaport Village Gallery, San Diego, CA
Awards and Honors
- New York Society of Illustrators
- Herman Lambert scholarship
- 50 People to Watch in 2007 
- Today’s Top Artist (2007–2010) by Art Business News 
- San Diego Ranch & Coast Magazine’s “Best Artist”
City Expressions (2008)
- Across the Board, Limited Edition
- Big City of Dreams, Limited Edition
- Blue Note, Limited Edition
- Bon Appetit, Limited Edition
- Bourbon Street, Limited Edition
- Café de Flore, Limited Edition
- Cappuccino with Friends, Limited Edition
- Cappuccino with Friends (Study), Limited Edition
- Captured Moments, Limited Edition
- Ciao Bella, Limited Edition
- City Expressions Book, Limited Edition
- City Reflections, Limited Edition
- Coffee Break, Limited Edition
- Coronado Beach Walks, Limited Edition
- Crystal Café, Limited Edition
- Fontaine's, Limited Edition
- Fred, Limited Edition
- Friday Night, Limited Edition
- Good Medicine, Limited Edition
- Good Times Square, Limited Edition
- Happy Hour, Limited Edition
- In the Mood, Limited Edition
- Italian Rain, Limited Edition
- Lady Luck, Limited Edition
- L'Auberge, Limited Edition
- Let it Ride, Limited Edition
- London Rain, Limited Edition
- Luck of the Irish, Limited Edition
- Lunch Date, Limited Edition
- Lunch with Degas, Limited Edition
- Manhattan for Mel, Limited Edition
- Martini for Me, Limited Edition
- Martini For Two, Limited Edition
- Martinis and Jazz, Limited Edition
- Mel at the Bar, Limited Edition
- Mel-ody, Limited Edition
- Night at the Fox, Limited Edition
- Night Life, Limited Edition
- Parisian Nights, Limited Edition
- Red Dress, Limited Edition
- Reflections, Limited Edition
- Royal Street, Limited Edition
- Set to Perfection, Limited Edition
- Shaken... Not Stirred, Limited Edition
- Soul Mates, Limited Edition
- Staccato Rain, Limited Edition
- Stock Talk, Limited Edition
- Streets of Gold, Limited Edition
- Sunset Grill, Limited Edition
- Table for Two, Limited Edition
- Timeless Moment, Limited Edition
- Uncorked, Limited Edition
- Uptown, Limited Edition
- When in Rome, Limited Edition
- “Michael Flohr: Urban Picturesque Post-Impressionist.” Florida Design’s Art Galleries and Fine Antiques Vol 1: 15.
- “Capturing Ordinary Life In Extraordinary Circumstances.” American Traveler Nov./Dec. 2008: 42-44.
- Seamark, Sarah. “Michael Flohr’s Social Commentary of Our Times.” Art World News.
- “Michael Flohr: Making the Most of His Talent.” Skywest Magazine March/April 2005: 26.
- Mitchell, Sandy. “Observation and Interpretation.” Decor & Style Magazine June 2002: 100-103.
- Mitchell, Sandy. “Michael Flohr’s Visual Adventure.” Fine Art Magazine Winter 2006: 24-27.
- Arnold, Thomas, Julia Beeson, Tom Blair, and Ron Donoho. “50 People to Watch in 2007.” San Diego Magazine Jan. 2007: 88.
- “Michael Flohr.” Today’s Top Artists July 2007: 22-23.
- Flohr, Michael. City Expressions. Crown Thorn Publishing, 2008.