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Contact: Tina Collen 303-440-4464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Boulder artist and author Tina Collen, however, has indeed broken new literary ground with her unique memoir Storm of the i: An Artobiography.
The book is a hybrid of art and narrative that communicates on many levels. The synthesis is riveting. In it Collen often lets her art tell the story—a successful artist who, at the 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. At the time she wrote the book, her father hadn’t spoken to her in 15 years and she never knew why.
Collen’s heartbreaking exploration is filled with gripping episodes that are poignant, wise and humorous. The book is overflowing with memorabilia, drawings, photographs, a gorgeous 5-panel painting
that folds out of the book, a mildly scandalous lift-up flap and even a popup that hands the reader a fortune cookie with a message inside. This highly unusual creation inspires us to think about the talents, the humor and the memories that we all possess.
Among Collen’s most exciting and distinctive works are her Fleurotica collages. Here’s how New York Time best-selling author Sara Davidson describes them:
Hooded Ladies Tresses
"BOTANATOMICALLY CORRECT" —Fleurotica collector, Eric Marus
“At first glance, I thought I was looking at lush paintings of wildflowers, but on closer examination, I found myself in the world of 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 of the i, she takes a heartbreaking story and transforms it into something witty, beautiful—and unforgettable."
Why was her father so angry at her from the time she was a child?
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’s held all her life.
Storm of the i: An Artobiography by Tina Collen
Nautilus Book Award 2011 Gold Medal
Previous Award winners include the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Andrew Weil, Barbara Kingsolver, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. among others.
2011 Book of the Year, Foreword Magazine
Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal
List $29.95 Perfect bound paperback 322 pages
Art Review Press 1st edition ISBN-10: 0982524102
2011 Nautilus Gold Medal
2011 Book of the Year, Foreword Magazine
Benjamin Franklin Silver medal for Memoir
Award-winning memoir of an artist's difficult relationship with her father, overflowing with playfulness, humor and her art—including foldout paintings, cutouts and even a hand that comes out of the pages to give the reader a fortune cookie with a message inside.
FOLD OUT PAINTINGS
Storm of the i: An Artobiography
What reviewers are saying
"Tina Collen has created a rare masterpiece of memoir brimming with wit, wisdom and beauty. Using the languages of both word and image her vibrant inner journey is transmitted on dual wavelengths. The resulting synthesis is bold, authentic, fanciful, and free ... a reminder of the untamed world of possibility that lies within every human heart. This book is a jewel."
—Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
and New York Times best-selling author
"Powerful. This is a poignant and gripping Rorschach test of a book. Smart, funny and deep, it is filled with wonderful art and the wisdom of a truly original mind."
—Joan Holt, Editor-in-Chief,
Metropolitan Museum of Art Magazine,1979-2005
"A reminder, vivid and visual, that the parent-child bond is the bedrock on which lives are built."
—Stewart Oksenhorn, Aspen Times
"Not only exquisite, but Intensely engaging, inspiring and funny."
One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World, 2009
"Storm of the i is extraordinary—it's inventive, beautiful and brave. I've been in the book business for thirty years and have seen a lot of books, but I've never seen anything like this."
—David Bolduc, owner, Boulder Bookstore
"A vivid portrait of transforming pain into art and art into revelation."
"This book is a fabulous hybrid, a memoir that's alive with foldouts, paintings, drawings and a surprising lift-up flap. Beneath the playfulness, however, lies the story of an artist trying to understand her father's lifelong anger towards her. At the pinnacle of her career, an exhibition of her work in Paris, Tina Collen finds herself inexplicably weeping. It takes courage to probe a father's lifelong rejection, but Collen has wonderful tools: her humor, memories and the trail of art she created. I discovered Collen through her Fleurotica collages. At first glance, I thought I was looking at lush paintings of wildflowers, but on closer examination, I was in the world of 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 Storm of the i, she takes a heartbreaking story and transforms it into something witty, beautiful-and unforgettable."
—Sara Davidson, New York Times best-selling author
Philip Yenawine, former Director of Education at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, described Fleurotica (shown in the book) as "the meeting ground of Georgia O'Keefe, Erma Bombeck and Linda Lovelace-a celebration of beauty, humor and sensuality."
French art critic José Pierre said about Fleurotica: "It is secretly and delightfully naughty. Done with such playfulness, elegance and subtlety that by the time the viewer knows what they are looking at they are already in on the joke."
"Brilliant and touching. Tina Collen's memoir brought tears to my eyes. I was totally engrossed from the first moment I started reading to the very last period. I followed every word like it was a psychological thriller and experienced her epiphany as if it were my own."
—Nancy Spanier, Artistic Director, Performance Inventions, Sireuil, France
"Artists and writers are often the ones forging the path for the rest of us. It's inspirational to see Collen set down her brush and pick up a pen and write her life with equal mastery. As the baby boomers enter their most reflective decades, watch for Artobiography to become an emerging trend."
—Patricia Aburdene, author of Megatrends 2010, co-author of Megatrends, #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for 2 years
"Marvelous ... warm, clever, lively and great to look at. It's packed with fascinating insights. I started putting little yellow Post-its on all the things I really liked.There were so many I ran out."
—Ted Conover, Pulitzer Prize finalist,
National Book Critics Circle Award winner
"Behind creativity there is often a struggle trying to work its way out and this is the story of that struggle. Unlike artists who feed their pain, in Storm of the i, Tina Collen uses her talent to understand and ameliorate it. Along the way, she creates a genre that is overflowing with quirky inventiveness-foldout paintings and photographs, diecuts, an omniscient pop-up and even a mildly scandalous lift-up flap. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it."
—Lena Torslow Hansen, Museum Art Books
"The most unusual thing about this remarkable memoir is that it's not about the author-it's about the reader."
—Marilyn Van Derbur, Award winning author,
motivational speaker, Miss America 1958
"An emotional tour de force-hard to believe this is her first book. It's a10 in creativity, art, and revelation. Now that the inner storm has been channeled, I see Artobiography workshops on the horizon."
—Dr. Judith Briles, award-winning, best-selling author
"An exuberant and engaging exploration, a collection of touching and humorous personal stories that are woven seamlessly together. Though the author obviously delights in tweaking the nose of propriety, her message is authentic. Using little psychological or spiritual jargon, it has instead the power of an ordinary voice speaking truth."
—Evi Bassoff, psychologist, author of Mothering Ourselves,
Mothers and Daughters, and Cherishing Our Daughters
"I cried a lot."
—Neil Galland, a grown man
"Griffin & Sabine meets Eat, Pray, Love."
—Karen Mayer, Penguin Books
"Dear Ms. Collen, you had a more than capacity crowd hanging on your every word during your talk. I could only stand in the doorway. The slides were great and so were you. Congratulations on your book. It is lovely and touching."
—Kent Hudson Reed, Director
Tina Collen has been an artist all her life. Educated in graphic design at Pratt Institute, she has designed toys for Mattel and made many other entrepreneurial forays into the commercial world. Her artwork has been exhibited in Paris, Barcelona, Frankfurt and on a year-long tour of museums throughout Germany. In New York City it was shown at The PhotoForum on 5th Avenue and at The Erotics Gallery in SoHo. She lives in Boulder, Colorado by way of Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Aspen.
AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH KGNU RADIO, BOULDER CO
Listen or download
Aspen Comedy Festival
Revealing Self-Portrait Mystery
“I was having dinner with a friend when he said something that really struck me, that one of his most painful memories is also one of his fondest.”
“How could that be?” I asked.
“Well,” he said, “my dog, Wister, died recently. He was my best friend for 17 years. Not only did we share years of camping and hiking adventures together, he was a full-fledged member of my company, which I started in my garage at home.
“Wister was also a constant loving presence for my two daughters. Before putting the girls to bed each night, the three of us would put him to bed first. They would ask him how his day was, and Wister, in the voice of their dad, would regale them with stories of his adventures. Then Wister would read them their chosen bedtime story until they drifted off.
“So it was a sad day when the time came to put him to sleep. He was very old and very sick. He could hardly hear and was almost blind—all he could do was lie there. I called the vet and told him the time had come and we were bringing Wister over. With heavy hearts, one of my employees, who also dearly loved the dog, helped me load the old guy into our van.
“On the way we passed a Wendy’s, which in happier days was one of Wister’s favorite stops. I doubled around and went into the drive-thru where I ordered Wister’s all time favorite—a burger with bacon and cheese. I broke it up into bite sized pieces, held it to his nose and we watched in amazement as all of the sudden Wister became six months old again. He opened his mouth and scarfed it all down, every last piece.
“We turned the van around and drove through again, broke up the next burger with bacon and cheese into little pieces, and again Wister rose to the occasion and swallowed every last morsel. We laughed so hard, tears rolled down our cheeks. It’s one of my fondest memories.’”
“Later that night it hit me that if I’ve been living in fear of pain all this time and I’ve been closed off to feeling it, maybe I’ve been missing out on the full experience of life, including some of the best things.”