Drawing from the iconography of his outer-Philadelphia upbringing, Da Corte creates vibrant paintings, sculptures, videos, and installations that infuse everyday artifacts with symbolic power. His theatrical assemblages combine personal narratives and remixed references with the glossy aesthetics of commercial culture. Through subtle manipulation, repurposing, and juxtaposition of objects and icons, he unearths the eerie and absurd qualities that underlie the seemingly familiar. At once dazzling and ominous, his surreal amalgams chart the psychological complexities, desires, and illusions that haunt late-capitalist culture.
For the inaugural installation in the window of the New Museum’s 231 Bowery building, Da Corte presents “Harvest Moon,” a new project that evokes the storefront of a soon-to-open Wawa, an East Coast chain of convenience stores founded outside Philadelphia. The window on the right is covered with a vinyl sign announcing a future development, with the words “coming soon” atop an image of an enlarged hoagie—a sandwich native to the Philadelphia area and a signature of Wawa stores. On the left, an illuminated sign rests on a pallet as if waiting to be installed on the building’s façade. The iconography of a goose in flight before a harvest moon was chosen for the logo, as the “Wawa,” an Ojibwe word for the Canada goose, is said to echo the company’s principles of teamwork and encouragement. “Harvest Moon” also references the popular 1992 song by Neil Young about an enduring love. Placed upside down and backwards, Da Corte’s sign reads “Mama,” a gesture that reflects the corporatization of familial devotion, sustenance, and nurture.
“Alex Da Corte: Harvest Moon” is the first in a new series of window installations, which relaunches the program the New Museum originally mounted in the 1980s. These include now-legendary projects by Jeff Koons (“The New,” 1980), David Hammons (“Rented Earth,” 1980), Linda Montano (“Seven Years of Living Art,” 1984–91), Bruce Nauman (“No, No, No, No!,” 1987), and Gran Fury (“Let the Record Show…,” 1990),
This project is curated by Margot Norton, Curator.