Unititled (Buffet), 2012
Plastic grapes, mini ironing board, shampoo, conditioner, frames, paper, shelves, plastic wrap, PVC tube, hair rollers, saw-horses, clamp, wiffle ball bat, manicure hand, plastic fingernails, plastic box, rubber finger, dental bib clamp, glow-in-the-dark spider, cocaine
48 1/2 × 47 × 45 inches
My love, do you ever dream of
Candy coated raindrops?
You’re the same, my candy rain
–Soul 4 Real, ‘Candy Rain’
Joe Sheftel Gallery is proud to present Philadephia based sculptor Alex Da Corte’s first major New York solo show, Candy Rain. The show will open on March 4, 2012 from 6 to 8 p.m. and run through April 22.
Candy Rain is inspired by the Soul 4 Real song ‘Candy Rain’ which hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in April of 1995. The Soul 4 Real video provides all the classic hallmarks of 90’s R&B boy-band satisfaction; handsome young men in coordinating outfits singing simple romantic lyrics in front of a series of glitteringly low budget backgrounds and low tech special effects. The video acts as a readymade object whose language and imagery have been watched, celebrated and then pushed out of collective consciousness.
Da Corte’s sculptures utilize objects and ideas that our society adores, consumes and discards. An old music video isolates a moment in visual history and reminds us of what was culturally important and visually pleasing at that time. Similarly, Da Corte’s sculptures provide perspective on what is visually important today. His use of found and humble materials reminds the viewer of one’s intimacy with the thousands of discardable items that surround him and the role these items play in our shared self-definitions. Da Corte’s work campaigns against the continued normalization and standardization of our culture by holding everyday mass-produced objects under the spotlight of his artistic process.
The sculptures in Candy Rain investigate the artifacts of consumer culture to begin a deeper dialogue on what we have loved and forgotten. Repurposing everyday products like discount shampoo to make an abstract painting, Da Corte asks viewers to re-examine the items placed closest to their bodies. Positioning dollar store rubber balls on colored acrylic pedestals, he simultaneously invokes Anne Truitt along with the smiley face on a deli shopping bag. Da Corte digs beneath the surface of our object oriented lives to find stories of class, gender, and diverging realities.
Examining and venerating the item from the grocery store, street corner or Ikea, Da Corte hopes to resuscitate a romantic language and failed iconography that caught our collective interest for a moment and then faded. The sculptures often carry a unique history of their previous lives in their current incarnation as an object looking for second chance at reconsideration, love and redemption. Through his use of material, Da Corte probes the imbalances of power that define society, one where the manufactured object is used a proxy for power, sex and happiness.
Alex Da Corte was born in Camden, NJ in 1981. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. He received his BFA from University of the Arts and a MFA from Yale University in 2010. Da Corte will have a solo presentation at the upcoming First Among Equal show at Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Philadelphia. He was also recently included in the ICA Philadelphia exhibition How We Escaped: Reflections on Warhol. His works have been shown at Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, TEAM Gallery, Yvon Lambert Gallery, and Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York. He has had solo shows at Extra Extra and Bodega in Philadelphia in 2011.