Alex Da Corte
Alex Da Corte was born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1980 and lives and works in Philadelphia. The artist received his BFA from the University of the Arts in 2004, and an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2010. Da Corte creates vibrant and immersive large-scale installations, including 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 Colorful and surreal, his work combines personal narrative, art-historical references, pop-culture characters, and the glossy aesthetics of commercial advertising to reveal the humor, absurdity, and psychological complexity of the images and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 permeate our culture.
Da Corte was raised between Camden, New Jersey; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Caracas, Venezuela. As a child, he aspired to be a Walt Disney animator. References to Disney cartoons and familiar characters from children’s stories, like Frankenstein’s monster and the Wicked Witch of the West, 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 many of the characters in his videos himself. The videos are installed in dreamlike, immersive environments, replete with colorful carpets, brightly painted walls, and neon lights. Underscoring the handmade nature of his work is its sleek and highly stylized appearance; 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 contrasting, remixing and flattening of disparate images and icons detaches them from their original meanings, allowing him to concoct new stories about familiar characters with a mixture of empathy, criticism, comedy, and the macabre.
“That’s why we make art, to propose that these feelings should come to the surface and be harvested.”
Alex Da Corte