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b. 1980, USA

Alex Da Corte Biography

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.

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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Personal narrative, art historical references, eye-popping commercial advertising aesthetics, characters, real living figures from popular culture, and banal consumer objects all collide within Alex Da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.

Alex Da Corte Solo Exhibitions include:

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).

Alex Da Corte Group Exhibitions include:

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

Alex Da Corte Featured Artworks

A Man's Image by Alex Da Corte contemporary artwork
Alex Da CorteA Man's Image, 2019Wood frames, plexiglass, acrylic paint, sequin pins, foam, velvet, hardware
142.2 x 718.8 x 7.6 cm
Sadie Coles HQ Contact Gallery

Alex Da Corte Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, My Head is a Haunted House at Sadie Coles HQ, Kingly Street, London
5 June–31 August 2019 Group Exhibition My Head is a Haunted House Sadie Coles HQKingly Street
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, This is Not A Prop at David Zwirner, 19th Street, New York
27 June–3 August 2018 Group Exhibition This is Not A Prop David Zwirner19th Street, New York

Alex Da Corte Represented By

Alex Da Corte In Ocula Magazine

Frieze Viewing Room: Ten Advisory Selections Ocula Insight Frieze Viewing Room: Ten Advisory Selections By Rory Mitchell, London

Ocula Art Advisory highlights ten artworks showing in Frieze Viewing Room.

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Alex Da Corte In Related Press

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'Yeah, like the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, the original version and the Disney version. He’s hot. You know it and she knows it too. And the tragedy of that film is when he reverts back to being just a white, blonde dude. It’s a thing of huge sorrow to me still. When I was a child and I would watch it, I would be very distressed by that...

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On Monstering: 'My Head Is a Haunted House' at Sadie Coles HQ and 'Dracula’s Wedding' at Rodeo, London—Curated by Charlie Fox Related Press On Monstering: 'My Head Is a Haunted House' at Sadie Coles HQ and 'Dracula’s Wedding' at Rodeo, London—Curated by Charlie Fox 1 July 2019, Mousse Magazine

Disorientingly familiar, the entrance of My Head Is a Haunted House is covered with a Twin Peaks –esque Red Room floor vinyl that grounds whatever happens there in another dimension. But in contrast to David Lynch’s tricks, there are no velvet curtains bordering an outside;1 there is no alternative to rambling through the rooms suffused in...

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Charlie Fox haunts London Related Press Charlie Fox haunts London 1 July 2019, TANK Magazine

Charlie Fox invites you on a tour of the inner workings of his mind with Dracula’s Wedding and My Head is a Haunted House –two simultaneous exhibitions on this summer at Rodeo and Sadie Coles HQ respectively. Though working in different colour schemes, both shows are a compilation of Fox’s favourite artists and their spookiest works, in all...

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Monster Mash-Up: The Art Gallery As Haunted House Related Press Monster Mash-Up: The Art Gallery As Haunted House 29 June 2019, The Quietus

I didn’t get a chance to see My Head Is A Haunted House until about a week and a half after it opened. In this time (and before the opening), I’ve felt like it was omnipresent online. Constant photos of people posing with giant humping soft sculptures, the cover for the accompanying book endlessly whipping through my feed–It’s had a palpable...

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Alex Da Corte In Video & Audio

Episode 10 | Alex Da Corte and Charlie Fox Related Video & Audio Episode 10 | Alex Da Corte and Charlie Fox 12 November 2019, David Zwirner

When the artist Alex Da Corte and the writer Charlie Fox talk about Edward Scissorhands, Frankenstein, Hercules, Michael Myers, A Clockwork Orange, Scar from The Lion King, they’re also talking about beauty and body anxiety and disability and sexual attraction and queerness—the anxieties of existing physically in the world every day. Da Corte...

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