Whatever Is Contained Must Be Released: My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life as a Feminist Artist

Helène Aylon. Feminist, $24.95 (350p) ISBN 978-1-55861-768-1
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American conceptual artist Aylon was raised in Orthodox Jewish Borough Park, Brooklyn, the first girl born into a loving family who would have preferred a boy. In this richly evocative, captivating, and reflective memoir, Aylon describes her personal and professional evolution from her insular and traditional upbringing to living as an artist in Manhattan’s Westbeth artists’ residence and later in Northern California. Aylon’s writing is refreshingly energetic and conversational, vividly evoking the daily life of her childhood and the frequent conflicts she felt between her identity as a mother and daughter in Brooklyn and her emerging artistic identity in Manhattan. Her evolution into a thriving feminist artist and boldly experimental professor of art in 1970s and ’80s-era San Francisco demonstrates an inspiring reflectiveness, sense of self, and self-confidence. Most fascinating is this Jewish feminist’s creative integration of faith and culture into her art and how deeply her religious training informed and complicated her art and life. The inclusion of rare, evocative personal photographs and documents complete this revealing portrait, making it of great interest to anyone interested in Judaism’s intersections with art and feminism. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 350 pages - 978-1-55861-769-8
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