Every retail establishment needs a theme, doesn’t it? And “thingbox” and “thinghotel” find inspiration in the work of Joseph Cornell, a man whose life is proof that scavenging for joyful objects is not an utter waste of time.
My favorite part of this brief bio, written by the dealer Joseph Feigen of E. 69th St. NYC:
“Like the French Surrealists, Cornell’s work relied on the concept of irrational juxtaposition as it forayed into the realm of both Pop and installation/ conceptual art. His varied series of boxes centered around succinct, albeit vague titles from “Bird” to “Observatory,” and “Hotel.” Cornell, despite or because of his shyness, maintained endearing infatuations with Hollywood starlets including Lauren Bacall, even going to far as to send boxes dedicated to them. Other influences included Stéphane Mallarmé and Gérard de Nerval as well as dancers Marie Taglioni and Fanny Cerrito.”
Irrational juxtaposition is a great practice to strive for. I often imagine the creative impulse to be an act of pouring the kids’ sorry toy baskets on the floor and figuring out what to build with all that junk. This is where the cheap and broken McDonald’s jewjaw begs for kinship with the exquisite educational toy. The boy often joins forces with his friend to oblige the yearning objects and I am usually pleased with the results. For awhile.
Another visionary part of Cornell’s psyche is also apparent from the list of his admirees-Anyone who idolizes Lauren Bacall plus Stephan Mallarme and Nerval is genius. No doubt about it.
Here is the bio in its entirety: