Design

Yoko Ono’s An Invisible Flower

An Invisible Flower by Yoko Ono

Two or three years ago a bunch of us who work on art books here had a meeting. Who, we asked ourselves, if the world was our oyster, would we want to do a book with?

What living artist best combines first and foremost making amazing art, with the other qualities of character, passion, and personal panache that we love in the folks we publish like Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo? I found the notes from that meeting the other day. At the very top of the list? None other than the inimitable Yoko Ono.

Yoko Ono

Photo by Chris Floyd © Yoko Ono

Which is just one of the many reasons that I’m so very happy and honored that we are now the proud publishers of An Invisible Flower—a recreation of a book Ms. Ono created when she was just nineteen years old.

As an answer to her experiences in war-torn Japan as a child, she created a story illustrated by beautifully quiet chalk pastel drawings, about the invisible beauty we all sense is in the world, but cannot quite see, and the one man—Smelty John—who catches a glimpse of it.

Yoko Ono

That she created this work more than a decade before she met John Lennon adds an aura of enjoyably eerie prescience to the whole thing—sending shivers up the spines of everyone I’ve gotten to tell about the project the whole time I’ve been working on it.

Yoko Ono

Everyone here just loves everything about this book—the beauty and quiet importance of it, the spooky Lennon connection, the story of how Sean Ono Lennon found the original among his mother’s things and convinced her to publish it.

Yoko Ono

And we’re not alone in our love affair with An Invisible Flower. Everyone from People to NPR, O to W, Harper’s Bazaar to Brain Pickings is enamored as well. And for good reason.

Yoko Ono page 42

Add to that the fact that a major career-spanning exhibition of Yoko Ono’s work recently opened at the Serpentine Gallery in London…

Yoko Ono To The Light

Yoko Ono
Installation view, Yoko Ono: TO THE LIGHT
Serpentine Gallery, London
(19 June – 9 September 2012)
© 2012 Jerry Hardman-Jones

…featuring “new and existing installations, films and performances, as well as archive material relating to several key early works.”

Yoko Ono To The Light

Yoko Ono
Installation view, Yoko Ono: TO THE LIGHT
Serpentine Gallery, London
(19 June – 9 September 2012)
© 2012 Jerry Hardman-Jones

It seems safe to say we’re seeing a full-blown Yoko moment.

Yoko Ono To The Light

Yoko Ono
Installation view, Yoko Ono: TO THE LIGHT
Serpentine Gallery, London
(19 June – 9 September 2012)
© 2012 Jerry Hardman-Jones

In her Brain Pickings review, Maria Popova calls the book “a time machine of love”—I wish I had just such a machine of my own, to go back three years and tell myself after the meeting the day that, yes indeed, before too long, we would be publishing a lovely book by this illustrious and awesome woman.

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