Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Storm of the i

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review - Storm of the i

About the Book
Artobiography Breaks New Literary Ground

Thousands of books are published every year, but it’s not very often that someone creates a new genre of literature. Yet with her remarkable new book, Boulder artist and author Tina Collen has indeed broken new literary ground. Her unique memoir is called Storm ofthe i: An Artobiography.

Communicating on many levels, the hybrid creation is riveting. In it Collen often lets her art tell the story —a successful artist who, atthe height of her career (during an exhibition in Paris) confronts a lifetime of rage and rejection from her father. What follows is a fascinating and intimate self-portrait-mystery story. At the time she wrote the book, her father hadn’t spoken to her in 15 years and she never knew why.   

Sweet Sixteen, dressed as a flapper for a “Roaring 20’s party”

My father’s many business trips to Asia often included a stop-over in California to visit old neighbors who had moved from Brooklyn. He encouraged their son to come visit the family when he  headed east to go to law school.

In my father’s wallet he carried this provocative photo of me. It’s the picture that convinced my husband-to-be to investigate further, which he did by coming to my sister’s 20th birthday party.

Once it became clear that this charismatic young man had caught my attention, my father began to make things difficult. Very difficult.

Collen’s heartbreaking investigation is filled with poignant, gripping episodes, wise insights and witty humor. It’s overflowing with memorabilia, a gorgeous 5-panel painting

that folds out of the book, drawings, photographs, cutouts, a mildly scandalous lift-up flap and even a pop-up that hands the reader a fortune cookie with a message inside. This highly unusual creation is an inspiration for us to think about the talents, the humor and the memories we all possess.


Collen’s Fleurotica collages are among her most exciting and distinctive works.       

      Here’s how New York Times best-selling author Sara Davidson describes them:

     “At first glance, I thought I was looking at lush paintings of wildflowers, but on closer examination, I found myself in the worldof the Kama Sutra. Based on the idea that flowers are simply sex organs, Collen created her wildflowers from risqué magazine scraps. She took something forbidden and transformed it into something witty, beautiful and acceptable. In her memoir, Storm ofthe ishe takes a heartbreaking story and transforms it into something witty, beautiful —and unforgettable."

After hours and hours of arranging and re-arranging the cutout pieces, Collen would use a photo spray to adhere the cut out pieces of magazine to the black background. Unfortunately, the glue made a fine spray filling the air and settling on every surface (lungs included), so she found a unique solution. She converted a zippered garment bag into a closet spraying chamber.

Why was her father so angry at her?  

Why did he try to alienate her from the rest of the family?

Searching for answers, Collen uncovers a bombshell that shatters a core belief she’d held all her life.   

My Take on the BookThis book provides an intimate look into one woman's life and work. What I loved about this book was the multimedia effects that she placed into the book itself. So on one page you will find pop-up pictures and the next works of art. 

The book itself is immensely personal and allows readers to see the important points that made the author who she was. The book was a no holds bar open access to her life, and I for one was impressed at all that she has made of her life this far, and I can tell that she has even more that she can share with the world in the future. 

The book was definitely a work of art in its own light and if you are a fan of this author or in unique books, this book was definitely one that I would highly recommend!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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