Sunday, December 30, 2012

Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies

Yoko Ono: Collector of SkiesBeram, Nell and Boriss-Krimsky, Carolyn. Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies.
1 January 2013, Amulet books
ARC from Netgalley.com

I learned a lot from this very lovely, middle grade appropriate biography of the artist Yoko Ono. She had a very privileged background, and her family was wealthy enough to send her to the best schools and live in the US for a while. They chose to weather the war in Japan, but remained safe. Returning to the US after the war, they lived in Scarsdale, and Yoko attended Sarah Lawrence. Always artistically inclined, she thought at first that she would study music, but started writing poems and attaching them to objects, becoming one of the first performance artists. In the 1950s, she hung out with the likes of Allan Ginsberg, and was well regarded as an artist, gaining even some popular attention for her controversial pieces. What brought her to international attention, of course, was her relationship with John Lennon. The two were artistically well suited to each other, but were together for a relatively short time. She has continued to work as an artist to this day. Color pictures of her work add a lot to this well researched and formatted biography.
Strengths: Beautifully done and quite informative. I've read a lot of information about the Beatles but knew relatively little about Ono's art work.
Weaknesses: I'm not sure that there would be a lot of interest in a biography of Ono, at least in my school.

We had quite the discussion in my family about how Ono might have been more famous and well-regarded for her art if she hadn't been connected to Lennon, but how she is known by more people because of this connection.


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