Jim C. aka James Cornwell might be 50 years old, but his art still attracts the youngins. This artist first started making his work in the East Village in the early 1980’s, back when that area housed afterhours-art galleries, and when the neighborhood was still ripe with burned out cars and junkies. He creates an assortment of work from video art, sculpture, giclee, all which can then be remixed and made into even newer work. Jim C. is looking to sell out but it must be under the right conditions as NYU’s Fales Library can attest to when they offered him 20k for his video art but couldn’t get the contract right. Oh, and Carlo McCormick, you better holler at this guy, he says you owe him something.
Tell us about how you make your art. What’s your process: My art is process. I am interested in the intersection of the mechanical and the manual. For example, I will produce a painting by hand, then photograph or videotape details of the painting. These may then be further manipulated using the computer. Archival quality prints (giclee) are collaged onto canvas or sculpture, where they may be again painted on. So, what we have is a continuous process where the endpoint of the piece may be at any intersection of the process.
Who is your Art for? My art is for anyone. But it turns out that young people â€“ teens and twenties â€“ seem to be drawn to my work more than an older crowd. That being said, I am almost 50 years of age myself. But I came of age as an artist during the punk era. A lot of that energy still fuels my persona and my art.
What is your Art supposed to do? My art is supposed to â€œthrow people off.â€ In other words, my art is supposed to create a disjuncture in the normal, everyday perceptions and feelings and ideas of the viewer. â€œArt must be convulsive or nothing at all.â€
What is your art worth? New York Universityâ€™s Fales Library, under the auspices of Marvin Taylor, offered me $20,000 in 1999 for my video archives, much of which consists of video art. I turned down their offer because of a contractual disagreement. I have not been active in the New York art world, though, for some time. I moved up to Woodstock, New York after the collapse of the art market and what we then knew as the Downtown scene around 1991, although I maintain a studio on Avenue C. So, I have not been actively pursuing sales of my work.
What single work of art would you most like to destroy? Object to be Destroyed by Man Ray.
Name one crappy “Artist”: Barnett Newman Now name another one: Jeff Koons
Best museum: MOMA Worst museum: MOMA
Describe the finest moment of your artistic endeavors: Thatâ€™s a tough one. But it was probably my one person show at the E.M.Donahue Gallery when it was on east 11th Street in 1986.
NOW GET DOWN AND GIVE US 19
1. Favorite ANIMAL: Dogs.
2. What gets you excited? Hot sex.
3. Worst Job: Real estate agent. Dream job: Full time artist (making money at art).
4. Best kept secret about NYC: The East Village art scene was the last great art movement in America that was located in a physical space (ie, before cyberspace came into existence).
5. What would you do if you found A LOT of cash in a cab? I would pay off all my debts, quit my job and do my art full time.
6. Favorite website: VJCentral. Most embarrassing favorite website: MySpace.
7. Early bird or night owl? Night owl.
8. Motto, mantra, words of advice, or favorite quote: â€œArt is not nice.â€ â€“ Bertrolt Brecht
9. Name your favorite ISM. Maximalism.
10. If you invented a recreational drug, what would it be called? Neuro.
11. What’s the greatest thing the internet has given mankind? A virtual space where we can all exist without really existing.
12. Who owes you something? Marvin Taylor and Carlo McCormick.
13. How would you run the zoo? When the lions escaped Iâ€™d keep running.
14. How do you kill time? Filling out artist questionnaires that I receive in my inbox.
15. Favorite watering hole: The 40 Avenue C bar that is in my building and will open in September.
16. Are you looking for anyone you’ve lost contact with? (maybe we could help.) Um â€“ Theyâ€™re all dead. Colin DeLand, Pat Hearn, Annie Herron, David Wojnarowicz, many of my friends who have died â€“ pioneers of the New York art scene who are now deceased.
17. Do you need anything really bad? Yes, I need money.
18. Any tips for the kids? Stick to your vision. Donâ€™t let anyone stand in your way.
19. Shout outs: Hello, world! Peace.
Name: Jim C. (James Cornwell)
Gallery:Silent Space Gallery