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Cellblock Visions:
Prison Art in America
Phyllis Kornfeld
With a foreword by Roger Cardinal

Book Description | Table of Contents


"Powerful and beautiful stuff that, once again, makes us question our sometimes stupid definitions of art.... In an America that is in the process of returning to the medieval idea of prisons as a place of punishment and revenge, as opposed to places of rehabilitation and healing, here is a tiny ray of hope. Here is art that evidences deep and personal healing and lasting change."--David Byrne

"Phyllis Kornfeld has very extensive experience in the field of prison art. Her book makes that very apparent, providing the general reader with a powerful introduction to the role of art in prison life, and answering questions that the general reader will have about prisoners and their involvement with art and creativity. Her writing has a ring of truth about it, and she obviously writes, with real knowledge and liking, about the prisoners she has known. . . . Kornfeld has found astonishingly fine examples of important art being done in prisons, some of which falls into the area of Outsider Art, in which there is presently so much interest. The color reproductions make evident the high quality of the very rare and unusual material she has found."--John MacGregor, author of Discovery of the Art of the Insane

"Art is what human beings do--Stone Age cave dwellers in Altamira and twentieth century prison dwellers in the United States of America. Stripped of freedom, beautiful surroundings, and supportive community, these convicts draw pictures of what their souls see. They sketch their way past despair. They give us insight into what it means to be a Thrown-Away-One. Their pictures cry out: 'I, too, can see. I, too, can create. I, too, am a human being.'"--Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking

"Some of the best prison art I've ever seen."--Norman Mailer

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File created: 4/17/2014

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