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Early Art Fascinations

I never considered selling visual art until recently, but I've been making it most of my life, though sometimes intermittently. The other day I started thinking about the earliest pieces of art that fascinated me. When I was four or five, my mother took me to the New Orleans Museum of Art to see the Fabergé eggs. I don't remember them at all, because I couldn't be dragged away from the Dalí precious metal and jewel sculptures that were also on display -- in particular, a pulsing, shimmering piece of anatomy called "The Royal Heart."

It still blows me away. I remember reading one of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books around that same time and feeling for the kid who accidentally drooled on Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's encyclopedia while looking at the color pictures of precious gems.

Recently, Livejournal commenter alumiere compared my recent New Pope boxes to Cornell boxes, which pleased me greatly. The Ackland Museum in Chapel Hill, where I partly grew up, had a Joseph Cornell box in its collection, and this is the only other piece of art I distinctly remember from childhood. Unlike the Dalí piece, which I only saw that one precious time, that Cornell box was a presence in my life through years of school field trips, idle summer afternoons, and even a few dates. I liked the combination of orderliness and seeming randomness, and the sense of cataloguing something that might not strictly exist. I don't remember the title of the piece, but this one reminds me of it:

Crossposted at Dreamwidth. Comment here or there, as you will.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
I love his stuff.
I always liked how casual Joseph Cornell was about making art. He used to hand his boxes out to the neighborhood kids to play with and they would trade them in for others when they got bored, and he thought nothing of constantly fooling around with the compositions of the boxes. I really love his art. His outer world was pretty mundane--he lived at home with his mother and brother most of his life--but he had a very rich inner life. It was only after the gallery owners got hold of them that the boxes became a set 'art'.
Feb. 21st, 2013 04:21 am (UTC)
Re: I love his stuff.
It sounds to me Joe Cornell was a real example of "outsider art" before the "establishment" made him its darling. This makes him that much cooler to me.

I first saw his work in 1980, when I was a freshman in art school, and I remember not knowing what to make of them. (The answer is, of course, not to try and make anything of them; they just are.)
Feb. 21st, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
my favorite
This is my favorite Joseph Cornell box, and one of those formative works of art for me -- I go and visit it at the MoMA every time I'm there, I can't believe the online catalogue says "not on view"?!! There's a legend it refers to, about dancing for a Russian highwaymany on a frozen night under the stars, if you click on Publication Excerpts.

Taglioni's Jewel Casket

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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