My Avant-Garde Education: A Memoir

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Avant-garde is defined as “new or unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts.” Bernard Cooper’s My Avant-Garde Education is his memoir of his art education, which is definitely unusual.

The book begins with a description of one of his classes at the California Institute of the Arts. The author jumps back in time to show how he made it to CalArts, starting with his discovery of Pop Art when he was in grade school in the 1960’s. Cooper gives the reader a brief background of Pop Art, complete with pictures before starting his humorous account of the rest of his education.

While there weren’t too many laugh-out-loud moments, I spent a significant amount of time chuckling to myself over the many eccentricities of Cooper’s teachers and friends. His writing was excellent, and I was enjoying this light-hearted book, though I soon realized it wasn’t entirely a happy story. Cooper did a great job of making me smile or cry throughout the story.

The intense emotions I felt while reading My Avant-Garde Education are a tribute to Cooper’s great writing. I will definitely be recommending this book to friends.


Reviewed By:

Author Bernard Cooper
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date 2015-Feb-16
ISBN 9780393240719
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2015
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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