Alex Da Corte

Alex Da Corte was born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1980. Da Corte creates vibrant and immersive large-scale installations that include wall-based works, sculptures, and videos. Colorful and surreal, his work combines personal narrative, art-historical references, pop-culture characters, and the glossy aesthetics of commercial advertising to reveal the humor, absurdity, and psychological complexity of the images and stories that pervade our culture.

Da Corte was raised between Camden, New Jersey; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Caracas, Venezuela. As a child, Da Corte aspired to be a Walt Disney animator. References to Disney cartoons and familiar characters from children’s stories, like the Wicked Witch of the West and Frankenstein, reoccur in his videos, alongside anthropomorphized everyday objects (such as a bottle of ketchup) and pop-culture figures (like the rapper, Eminem). Da Corte portrays all of the characters in his videos, which are installed within his dreamlike, immersive environments, replete with colorful carpets, brightly painted walls, and neon lights. The sleek and highly stylized nature of his work is underscored by its handmade nature; Da Corte works with a team of artists to create every aspect of the videos and installations, from make-up to costumes to set pieces. Da Corte’s juxtaposition, remixing, and flattening of disparate images and icons detaches them from their original meanings, allowing him to tell new stories about familiar characters, with a mixture of empathy, criticism, comedy, and the macabre.

Alex Da Corte received a BFA from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and an MFA from the Yale University School of Art. He has had major solo exhibitions at Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln, Germany (2018); Secession, Vienna, Austria (2017); Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning, Denmark (2017); Hammer Museum at Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2016); MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2016); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2015); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2014, with Jayson Musson). Da Corte’s work has also been included in the 57th Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2018), and the 13th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2016). Da Corte lives and works in Philadelphia.

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Utilizing Performance

Art21 Educator Dana Helwick explains why performance is an effective form of physical activity and creative expression for students.


That’s why we make art, to propose that these feelings should come to the surface and be harvested.”

Alex Da Corte