Artist of the moment……Joseph Cornell

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Below is Cornell’s work “Pharmacy” which sold for $3.7 million dollars.
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Joseph Cornell was born in Nyack, New York in the year 1903. He was quite a versatile artist enjoying the process of painting, sculpting, and film. His father worked in the textile industry.His mother a teacher. Cornell was one of four kids. Cornell was only fourteen years old when his father passed away. The artist lived with his mother and brother for much of his life in Flushing,New York. His brother was handicapped by cerebral palsy. Cornell lived as a recluse for much of his life as he was quite shy and always had to help his siblings.
Working as a fabric salesman was sufficient to pay the family bills until the Depression hit. Via some connections through his mother he landed jobs designing fabrics and page layouts for leading magazines such as Bazaar. As far as the art world goes, Cornell’s assemblage and shadow box works are highly sought after by collectors. Some shadowboxes are even meant to be touched, handled, and played with.
Was a huge fan of the writer Mary Baker Eddy and was devotee to the Christian Science religion.
Price range information: The artist has had some works break the million dollar mark. Collages can range from $50,000 to $ 120,000. Paintings done in oil reach up to $50,000. Acrylics paintings broke the $200,000 barrier. Screenprints are the most affordable with many less than $10,000. A shadow box titled “pharmacy” sold for more than $3 million dollars.
His big break through was after an exhibition in 1949. Sadly the health of his mom and brother started to get worse. Cornell had to hire assistants to help him and even still he could hardly satisfy demand.
Like the great Andy Warhol, Cornell explored film as a medium of expression. These films are very whimsical and sometimes seem as if a shadow box has been brought to life. In this clip view a great clip that features some puppets brought to life. Very similar to the claymation techniques.

In this clip see some of the artists famed shadowboxes.

The artist reminds me of Kurt Schwitters. Schwitters made very impressive collage and assemblages using found materials and include photographs and newspaper articles of the 30s and 40s including some great works that tell about the horrors of the Nazi party. I have blogged about Schwitters before as I love his style.

Another artist working with shadowboxes would be Tom Mosley. Rather than use images of people, Mosley used no colors and basic geometric shapes in much of his shadow box work. Below is a fantastic shadow box made by Mosley.

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