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

  • From the Publisher
April 30, 2012
Helène Aylon was a good Jew­ish girl raised in ortho­dox Brook­lyn, mar­ried to a rab­bi, and a moth­er of two when her world split apart. A wid­ow at thir­ty, she broke free of tra­di­tion to become an eco-fem­i­nist artist whose work deals in trans­gres­sive images about war and peace, women’s bod­ies, women and god, and the deeply reli­gious world that con­tin­ues to influ­ence her work to this day.

The mem­oir is a charm­ing dash through the years of a struc­tured ortho­dox life and the artis­tic life that feed her to ques­tion the misog­y­ny of her beloved reli­gion. It is also a tell-all about the art world, with fas­ci­nat­ing details about lumi­nar­ies such as Ana Mendi­eta, Ad Rein­hardt, Mark Rothko, and Bet­ty Par­sons.

Exam­ples of Aylon’s work includ­ed are her ear­ly doors for the Jew­ish chapel at JFK air­port, her peace pil­low­cas­es (includ­ing one worn by Grace Paley), and her cur­rent search for the links between fem­i­nism and Judaism.

Read Helene Aylon’s Posts for the Vis­it­ing Scribe

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