Being in Pictures, by Joanne Leonard, is an unusually successful "intimate photo memoir."

The book is arranged in wonderful groupings of photographs, collages and montages, all enlivened with short, articulate prose that interweaves a personal life story with the art. It is a quick, engaging read, and at the end, we feel as if we have known this artist as a friend for a long time.

Leonard's experiences as feminist artist, academic, single mom, identical twin, and daughter of an Alzheimer's patient all play a part in her art.

Reflecting on her decision in the 1960s to choose a career as an artist, Leonard writes:

" ...but even as a young woman, I had to take myself seriously as an artist in order to allow myself the time, money, and space for my art. In fact, looking back, I think it was that very "allowing" more than anything else that defined me as an artist; I built a darkroom and, later, a studio when I could have fixed up a kitchen."

A well-made short documentary video serves as an introduction and companion piece to the book.

Highly recommended!

— Jim Casper

Being in Pictures
by Joanne Leonard
Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: University of Michigan Press (April 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0472114026
ISBN-13: 978-0472114023
11.2 x 11.1 x 1.1 inches

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