Cosmic Hotels


The shy, reclusive and self taught maker of shadow boxes and experimental films, Joseph Cornell , rarely left New York State, with the exception of a few college years in Andover, Mass, spending most of his life in a modest house in the beautifully named Utopia Parkway, Queens, caring for his mother and disabled brother. His artwork is filled with a yearning for the unobtainable ; birds with their freedom of flight, glamorous movie stars and ballerinas as the source of passionate, platonic romances and especially travel to the most luxurious and wondrous locations.

Hotels are a common feature of his shadow boxes, miniature visions of rest stops and trysting places for artistic, mythological and astrological archetypes as they travel through the starry Empyrean and the wastes of infinity.

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26 thoughts on “Cosmic Hotels

  1. I love the dream like quality of Cornell’s shadow boxes, I imagine this craft was an escape from what seems a dreary and rather dull life.It is interesting to imagine clandestine love affairs and what better place than hotels where privacy is paramount. I think this artwork and the way is protected in boxes behind glass says a lot about the artist. Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Loneliness and an infinite yearning. Cornell saw himself as a white magician (although taken up by the Surrealists, he thought, along with Mina Loy, that there was something black magicky about them) and he did manage to transmute the lead of experience into the gold of art.

        Liked by 1 person

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