Joel Cornell - Biography

‘Much of Joel Cornell’s strange and lurid artworks are made clandestinely at his place of employment, exploiting the profusion of stationary materials and processes available in an ordinary office: outdated computer programs, coloured A4 paper, stickers, binders and laminating machines. Collecting basic clipart through Google image searches, Cornell assembles constellations of pictures and text into odd compositions that resemble brainstorms – maps of some psychological topography. Other images are simple line drawings made using Microsoft Paint. His is an obsessive and repetitive process, one centring on the erection of a private, ordered world from the meaningless chaos of everyday life. Whilst the internal logic of the works can only be guessed at, the dynamic compositions are arresting in their straightforwardness: an interplay of animistic icons and jumbled language frozen in laminate like insects preserved in amber. Cornell subverts the mechanistic functionality of the utilitarian materials and banal found imagery he employs, thereby imbuing the everyday with a sense of dreamlike playfulness.’

– Paul Yore, November 2014