“Art was like sex.” Alex Da Corte is a rising star on the international art scene – his artistic expression a mixture of pop art and a strong personal story. We spent a day with him in his neighborhood in Philadelphia to talk about his creative journey.
Da Corte started out drawing cartoon figures, his early main goal being to get to work for Disney. He was brought up Roman Catholic and was exposed mainly to classical religious art. However, this changed when he went to New York and the “bubble” burst: “When I realized that there was something else I could do to express a truer self or my truer desires, I went after it.” He came to terms with a whole new world of art and simultaneously with his own sexuality – art became a representation of sex: “Ketchup is red, wet, moving and passionate.”
In Alex Da Corte’s artwork an Ikea lamp can represent himself just like a good friend can be represented by a stuffed animal: “Objects as stand-ins for people then became a way for me to understand that objects are just another kind of language that we can pair together to create these sentences that turn into poetry.”
“I’m like a sponge. I’m willing to absorb as much as I need and get rid of what I don’t.” Da Corte likes to think that he doesn’t have a certain taste, but rather that it is constantly changing. He puts unlikely things together and creates his own sense of reality: “Being a creator or some sort of inventor of things, you have to be willing to go into a place of delusion, because there’s not always a function or reason for what we do. We have to put aside logic sometimes in order to go out into the weirder parts of our brains. My work is about dancing around that delusion.”
Alex da Corte (b. 1981 in New Jersey) is an American artist who lived in Venezuela until he was eight and now lives and works in Philadelphia. Da Corte received his BFA from the University of the Arts and his MFA from Yale University in 2010. He has had solo shows and presentations at prominent venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Carl Kostyal, Stockholm; David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen; Artspeak, Vancouver; Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, Maine. Moreover, his work has been shown at MoMA PS1 and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2012, Da Corte was named a Pew Fellow in the Arts by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Philadelphia. For more about Alex Da Corte see: http://alexdacorte.com/
Alex Da Corte was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in his studio in Philadelphia, October 2014.
Camera: Klaus Elmer
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015
Supported by Nordea-fonden