I've heard it said that great art is generated out of conflict or tension. With that in mind, I'll introduce readers to one of my all-time favorite local author works, an "artobiography" by Boulder author and artist Tina Collen.
One of our Tattered Cover customers described it well as I showed her the book: "oh my, you can't read this on a (insert brand name of e-reader here)." If a person saw an online image of the book, it might not leap upon one's face screaming "read me" in neon blinking lights.
No, this book is a sensual experience, a pop-up for the grown-up aesthetic explorer, and from the moment one lifts it from the shelf it commands one's touch, sight, smell...a cohesive involvement of all humors.
"Storm of the i" is, in a sense, The Collen Museum of History. Precious artifacts from this woman's life are arranged and exhibited to delight and fascinate patrons. Collen herself is a thorough and patient curator, leading us all along the written hallways and corridors of her opus, gesturing quietly to the pieces which provide illustration yet leave us wondering. One feels certain of the presence of a master artist, as one witnesses page after page of highly professional, emotional writing coupled with the brilliant gems of a stellar graphic career.
By the end of my impeccably printed-and-bound museum visit, I have so many feelings. Did I just sit down with my friend and hear all her stories while cuddling up to her photo albums? Did I just walk out of a prestigious gallery, awed by the sights within? Did I just experience the loss of a loved one, painfully cataloguing all the joys and sufferings while cleaning out a house? Collen's book allowed me to experience each of these events simultaneously.
And what a magnificent work of art it is, which invites me to thrill in the depth of human experience and reflect upon my own humanity. Brava, Madame Collen.