Life, Music, and The Art of Joseph Cornell

Well, I’m proud to say that I’ve finally finished my final thoughts on Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation, and so I’ll have that posted at some point tomorrow.

Today was one of those busy days.  Since my friend and bandmate is currently taking a break from music to complete his Master’s Degree, my other bandmate came by today to work on some songs.  Following six hours of work, we walked away with a final version of one song and a rough recording of another.  While I’ve mixed and partially mastered the first song, I still have to complete the mastering process and get his approval before moving forward.  Maybe that’ll make its way to the blog one of these days.

In any case, I’ve started reading a collection of essays and poems edited by Jonathan Safran Foer, titled A Convergence of Birds.  Each of the works in the collection are based on a particular piece of artwork created by Joseph Cornell.  In this case, much of the artwork featured consists of Cornell’s interesting bird boxes.  The art is absolutely incredible, and Cornell fitted the boxes with all kinds of props–everything from music boxes to eye glasses.  Many of the pieces of the boxes and assemblages are said to have come from various NYC thrift shops.  A few examples of Cornell’s art are below, but Cornell’s art is definitely worth examining further.  Then again, even though I have no skill whatsoever when it comes to drawing or painting, I’ve always enjoyed art, especially experimental, odd art.

Still, Cornell was an absolutely fascinating figure in art, both for his art and his personal life. Just check out this excerpt of Cornell’s Wikipedia page:

…he lived for most of his life in a small, wooden-frame house on Utopia Parkway in a working-class area of Flushing, along with his mother and his brother Robert, whom cerebral palsy had rendered physically challenged. Aside from the period he spent at the academy in Andover, Cornell never traveled beyond the New York City area.

Cornell was wary of strangers. This led him to isolate himself and become a self-taught artist. Although he expressed attraction to unattainable women like Lauren Bacall, his shyness made romantic relationships almost impossible. In later life his bashfulness verged toward reclusiveness, and he rarely left the state of New York. However, he preferred talking with women, and often made their husbands wait in the next room when he discussed business with them.He also had numerous friendships with ballerinas, who found him unique, but too eccentric to be a romantic partner.

His last major exhibition was a show he arranged especially for children, with the boxes displayed at child height and with the opening party serving soft drinks and cake.   – Wikipedia

An exhibition for children… How incredible is that?

Best wishes, and happy Friday/early Saturday.

cornell.cockatoo-corks cornell.hotel-eden cornell.paul-virginia-cornell DSC03995


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