“Does the food we eat or the way we clean our toilet reflect if we’re obsessive compulsive or if we’re Virgos?” asked Alex Da Corte yesterday evening outside of American Contemporary gallery in the East Village. These are some of the questions Da Corte and five other artists address in “The Cardboard Lover,” which opened at said gallery yesterday evening. In a broader sense, the show explores the concept of “zaniness” as it applies to modern methods of production and consumerism. “It’s considering ways in which we organize domestic space and how it reflects if we’re cute or funny or serious,” Da Corte said.
After navigating the maze of hip, young arty types drinking Tecates, it was easy to recognize Da Corte’s work. I am an unabashed fanboy of the Philadelphia-based artist, and his tableaus – as he calls them – emulate his brand of offbeat humor and meticulous execution. There’s an oversized Hershey kiss made of ceramic, a crushed Coke can, a witch’s nose, even a malt-liquor bottle full of urine – the wacky or mundane preferences that ultimately define us. “They’re skins we apply on top of our lifestyles,” Da Corte says.
Also featured are works by Joel Holmberg, whose rotating boxes decorated with colorful printed matter Da Corte is quick to praise as “really fucking funny.” I left feeling acutely aware of my shoes, gum and the cleanliness of my bathroom.
“The Cardboard Lover” through Feb. 16 at American Contemporary, 4 East 2nd Street, East Village