May 4, 2012


Yoko Ono's work is often whimsical and philosophical, offering ideas of global peace to inspire us and, sometimes, emotional rawness to invite the brave to face tough realities head on. Her work can also offer simple gestures of innocence and magic, as in the new book, An Invisible Flower, coming out this month from Chronicle BooksI had the pleasure to make a re-mix for Yoko Ono a couple of years back, a project that developed into an experimental film, The Sun is DownSpy Vibe celebrates pioneer artists who worked in unusual areas in the 1960s and who continue to challenge us to 'think different'. I hope readers will check out her current work. See below for two additional books about Yoko scheduled for publication this year.

From Amazon: "Yoko Ono created An Invisible Flower when she was just nineteen years old, at the very start of her artistic career. Recently rediscovered in her archive by her son, Sean Lennon, who also provides a foreword, this jewel of a book tells the heartwarming story of the invisible beauty we all know is there—and of the one man, "Smelty John", who catches sight of it. Written years before Ono met John Lennon, An Invisible Flower offers a glimpse into the early process of a brilliant conceptual artist and, it will transpire, presages the love of her life. Simple pastel drawings complement the book's affirming message, and a new afterword by Ono makes this small treasure even more special."

When Yoko announced the book on her website, she added this comment: It just made me choke up re-reading “An Invisible Flower.” I thought of the drawing of two people on horseback John made in 1952 (the same year I made “An Invisible Flower”). The two people on horseback look very, very much like John and Yoko. And the date, 18th February, was my 19th birthday. It seems like we both knew in 1952 that we would fall in love with each other in 15 years time… yoko"

In addition, there are two books about Yoko coming out in the next year. Reconsidering Yoko Ono by Lisa Carver is due in October from Backbeat Books. From Amazon: "John Lennon once described her as "the world's most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does." Many people are aware of her art, and her music has always split crowds, from her caterwauling earliest work to her later dance numbers, but how many people have looked at Yoko Ono's decades-spanning career and varied work in total and asked the simple question, "Is it any good?" From her earliest work with the Fluxus group and especially her relationship with John Cage, through her enigmatic pop happenings (where she met John Lennon), her experimental films, cryptic books, conceptual art, and her long recording career that has vacillated between avant-garde noise and proto-new wave, earning the admiration of other artists while generally confusing the public at large who often sees her only in the role of the widow Lennon, Reaching Out with No Hands is the first serious, critical, wide-ranging look at Yoko Ono the artist and musician. A must-read for art and music fans interested in going beyond the stereotyped observations of Yoko as a Lennon hanger-on or inconsequential avant noisemaker."

And Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies by Nell Beram and Carolyn Boriss-Krimsky is due in January 2013 from Amulet Books. From Amazon: "This lyrical biography explores the life and art of Yoko Ono, from her childhood haiku to her avant-garde visual art and experimental music. An outcast throughout most of her life, and misunderstood by every group she was supposed to belong to, Yoko always followed her own unique vision to create art that was ahead of its time and would later be celebrated. Her focus remained on being an artist, even when the rest of world saw her only as the wife of John Lennon. Yoko Ono’s moving story will inspire any young adult who has ever felt like an outsider, or who is developing or questioning ideas about being an artist, to follow their dreams and find beauty in all that surrounds them.

In related news, The Beatles Yellow Submarine Blu-ray is available for order in Spy Vibe's secure Amazon Associates Store. Also, consider supporting a new documentary film about the Fluxus art movement (includes interviews with Yoko!). Info at our post here.

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