Philadelphia-based multi-disciplinary conceptual artist Alex Da Corte creates large-scale, vibrant, immersive, Pop art-informed installations. Drawing from the imagery of American high and low culture, his work examines the psychological complexities and humorous absurdities of late capitalism.Read More
As a child growing up between Camden, New Jersey; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Caracas, Venezuela, Alex Da Corte's dream was to become an animator for Walt Disney. This is reflected in the references to Disney cartoons and children's characters that pervades his current works alongside a litany of other high- and low-brow American cultural icons.
In 1999 Alex Da Corte apprenticed at Barnstone Studios. He went on to study film, animation, and fine art at the School of Visual Arts, New York, before completing a BFA at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, in 2004, and an MFA at Yale University in 2010. Reflecting the broad scope of his art education, his works draw upon a diverse set of disciplines, combining practices of painting, sculpture, performance, video, and installation.
Alex Da Corte's influences and disciplines come together in his installations to make what he calls 'Gesamtkunstwerk': a total artwork. Cohesive in its construction, these 'Gesamtkunstwerk' offer an immersive environment around the principle subject. Examples include Rubber Pencil Devil (2018), which he created for the Carnegie International, 57th Edition (2018), in Pittsburgh.
Alex Da Corte's Rubber Pencil Devil features a highly stylised and surreal 57-scene film that draws on cultural sources ranging from the Pink Panther to Mister Rogers. The film was displayed on a large screen inside a colourful three-dimensional neon outline of a house. Overall, Alex Da Corte exhibitions typically consist of brightly coloured walls, colourful neon lighting, and distinctively wacky and vibrant carpet and linoleum.
Personal narrative, art historical references, eye-popping commercial advertising aesthetics, characters, real living figures from popular culture, and banal consumer objects all collide within Alex Da Corte's work. In his TRUE LIFE (2013) installation, the artist took on the popular persona of American cultural icon Eminem, recontextualising his identity in scenes that use everyday household items as props.
Alongside various repeating popular culture motifs, in recent neon-and-siding relief sculptures, including Bad Window With Wood (2018) and Cavatica's Moon Song (2020), Alex Da Corte has toyed with the use of window imagery as a motif through which he may further explore American culture and anxieties.
Alex Da Corte's work has been shown in exhibitions worldwide, including major art events such as the Venice Biennale. His artworks can be found in major public collections, such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk.
Marigolds, Karma, New York (2019); THE SUPƎRMAN, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2018); Slow Graffiti, Secession, Vienna (2017); Free Roses, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams (2016); A Season In He'll, Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2016); Easternsports (with Jayson Musson), Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2014); The Island Beautiful/Mortal Mirror, Bodega/Extra Extra, Philadelphia (2011).
For a Dreamer of Houses, Dallas Museum of Art (2020); My Head is a Haunted House, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2019); Double Takes: Historic and Contemporary Film + Video, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2018); Dreamlands: Immersive Film and Cinema Since 1905, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Illumination, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2016); New Skin for the Old Ceremony, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010).
Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2020