||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
|Born||Kalev Mark Kostabi
November 27, 1960
Los Angeles, California
|Education||Studied at California State University, Fullerton|
|Known for||Painting, sculptor, composer|
Kalev Mark Kostabi (born November 27, 1960) is an American artist and composer.
Mark Kostabi was born in Los Angeles on November 27, 1960, to Estonian immigrants Kaljo and Rita Kostabi. He was raised in Whittier, California and studied drawing and painting at California State University, Fullerton. In 1982 he moved to New York and by 1984 he became a prominent figure of the East Village art scene, winning the "Proliferation Prize" from the East Village Eye for being in more art exhibitions than any other New York artist.
Kostabi has designed album covers for Guns 'N' Roses (Use Your Illusion) and The Ramones (¡Adios Amigos!), Seether Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray, Jimmy Scott (Holding Back The Years), Glint (Sound in Silence), RK: Roman Klun (Kingsway), Psychotica (Espina) and numerous products including a Swatch watch, Alessi vases, Rosenthal espresso cups, Ritzenhoff milk glasses, and a Giro d'Italia pink jersey.
Retrospective exhibitions of Kostabi's paintings have been held at the Mitsukoshi Museum in Tokyo (1992) and the Art Museum of Estonia in Tallinn (1998). Kostabi's work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the National Gallery in Washington D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome and the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.
His work was published on the cover of the book East Village '85 published by Pelham Press and his paintings were included prominently in numerous East Village shows in museums and galleries internationally. Matteo Editore published a book on Kostabi titled Mark Kostabi and the East Village scene 1983–1987 written by Baird Jones. During the mid-1980s he developed a media persona by publishing self-interviews which commented on the commodification of contemporary art. In 1986 Kostabi designed the Bloomingdales shopping bag. By 1987 his works were widely exhibited in New York galleries and throughout the United States, in Japan, Germany and Australia.
In 1988, inspiring extensive international press coverage, he founded Kostabi World, his large New York studio known for openly employing numerous painting assistants and idea people. In 1989 he made a homophobic statement in the magazine Vanity Fair saying, "These museum curators, that are for the most part homosexual, have controlled the art world in the eighties. Now they’re all dying of AIDS, and although I think it’s sad, I know it’s for the better. Because homosexual men are not actively participating in the perpetuation of human life." The fallout form that statement led to conflict and protests by ACT UP in the early 90s. He has since apologised. In 1996 he began dividing his time between New York and Rome and consequently his work's already strong presence in the Italian art scene became much more prominent. The influential Italian critic and curator Achille Bonito Oliva, included Kostabi in several major exhibitions including at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte di Roma. The controversial critic, curator and TV personality, Vittorio Sgarbi, curated a 150 painting Kostabi show at the Chiostro del Bramante in Rome in 2006.
His permanent public works include a mural in Palazzo dei Priori in Arezzo, Italy, a large bronze sculpture in the central square of San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy, and a bronze portrait of Pope John Paul II in Velletri, Italy.
In Kostabi's works there is an extensive range of citation and self-citation, which are typically postmodern techniques.
Kostabi has performed music as a soloist and with other musicians including Ornette Coleman, Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, Tony Esposito, Stefano di Battista, Olen Cesari, Aaron Comess, Richard Hammond, Amedeo Ariano, Marco Siniscalco, Stefano Nunzi, Puccio Panettieri, Pat Daugherty, Roman Klun and Paul Kostabi. His compositions have also been performed independently by Rein Rannap, Kristjan Järvi, Maano Männi, Delilah Gutman and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
His debut album, I Did It Steinway was released on Artists Only Records in October 1998. Produced by Dale Ashley & Charles Coleman, the album features original compositions by Kostabi, and was recorded entirely at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.
Kostabi's other releases include: Songs For Sumera, New Alliance and The Spectre Of Modernism.
Kostabi has been profiled on 60 Minutes, Eye to Eye with Connie Chung, A Current Affair, Nightwatch (with Charlie Rose), The Oprah Winfrey Show, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Nonsolomoda, West 57th, CNN, MTV and numerous television programs throughout Europe and Japan. In print he has been featured in The New York Times, People, Vogue, Architectural Digest, The Face, Playboy, Forbes, New York Magazine, The Sunday Telegraph, Domus, Corriera Della Sera, Panorama, Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Flash Art, Arte, Arte In and Tema Celeste.
From the year 2000 to 2010 Kostabi wrote an advice column for artists, "Ask Mark Kostabi" for Artnet Magazine.
Kostabi is the subject of numerous documentary films, most notably Bottom Line: The Kostabi Phenomenon directed by Peter Bach, Con Artist directed by Michael Sladek, and Jedermann directed by Paul Tschinkel. Kostabi has a prominent role in the Emmy award winning documentary The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not for Sale directed by Jeff Stimmel. "Full Circle: The Kostabi Story", directed by Sabrina Digregorio for Atena Films, has premiered at Anthology Films Archives in New York and at Domus Talenti in Rome. "My Italy" directed by Bruno Colella, currently in production in Rome, Italy is a docucomedy starring Kostabi, H.H. Lim, Krzysztof Bednarski and Thorsten Kirchhoff: 4 non-Italian artists who chose to live in Italy. The noted art critic Achille Bonito Oliva has a prominent role as narrator/commentator in the film.
Kostabi produces a weekly cable TV show, The Kostabi Show, where noted art critics and celebrities compete to title his paintings for cash awards. The Kostabi Show was previously known as both Name That Painting and Title This. Contestants on The Kostabi Show have included: Michel Gondry, Ornette Coleman, Suzanne Vega, Bela Fleck, Amos Poe, Glenn O'Brien, Glen Matlock, Tommy Ramone, Nicole Eisenman, Lee Klein, Carlo McCormick, Walter Robinson, Gary Indiana, Victor Bockris, Dennis Oppenheim, Sylvia Miles, Taylor Mead, Robin Cembalest, Jaclyn Santos, Randy Jones, Charles Coleman, Molly Barnes and David Coggins.
- Mark Kostabi (self published), "Kostabi", 1980.
- Kostabi, Mark (1985). Upheaval. Pelham Press., First edition 2,000 copies.
- Kostabi, Mark (1986). Office suite. New York: Strother/Elwood Arts. ISBN 9780940515000., First edition 2,000 copies.
- Kostabi, Mark (1988). Sadness because the video rental store was closed & other stories. New York: Abbeville Press. ISBN 9780896598003.
- Chattington, Basil; Mark Kostabi (1990). Kalev Mark Kostabi: the early years. New York: Vanity Press. ISBN 9780962836602.
- Kostabi, Mark; Martin Lawrence Modern (Gallery) (1992). Kostabi: one hundred +. Los Angeles, Calif., USA: Martin Lawrence Limited Editions. ISBN 9780929460116.
- Kostabi, Mark (1996). Conversations with Kostabi (1st ed.). Boston: Journey Editions. ISBN 188520325X.
- Kostabi, Mark; Sam Hunter (1998). Kostabi, the poetry of silence. Philadelphia, Pa.: Jenkintown Press. ISBN 9780929460123.
Others include: The Rhythm of Inspiration, Mark Kostabi and the East Village Scene 1983–1987 and Mark Kostabi in the 21st Century.
- Kossar, Kristel (2004-08-14). "Kolmemõõtmeline Kalev Mark Kostabi" (in Estonian). Postimees. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- The International Who's Who: 2004. Europa Publications. 2003. p. 920. ISBN 978-1-85743-217-6. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Stonard, John-Paul (2011). "Kostabi, Mark". In Joan M. Marter (ed.). The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art. Oxford University Press. pp. 69–70. ISBN 9780195335798.
- Pike, Laurie (April 1989). "Kostabi: Million-Dollar Bore". SPIN 5 (1). pp. 82–83. ISSN 0886-3032.
- Innsbruck Records (2011-03-08). "Mark Kostabi’s Art Graces Cover of Seether Album". http://www.innsbruckrecords.com. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- Jones, Baird (2002). Mark Kostabi and the East Village scene, 1983-1987. Dosson di Casier [Treviso]: Matteo Editore. ISBN 8888726012.
- Tully, Judd (July 18, 1991). "Painting by the Number". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
- Interview with Mark Kostabi (2014), http://shahrazadart.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/interview-with-mark-kostabi/
- Weschler, Pat; Roger D. Friedman (1995-05-01). "Intelligencer". New York Magazine 28 (18). p. 10. ISSN 0028-7369.
- Mark Kostabi at the Internet Movie Database
- Holden, Stephen (12 November 2010). "MOVIE REVIEW: 'CON ARTIST'; The (Un)Making of an Art World Satirist". The New York Times. p. 8.
- Mark Kostabi at the Internet Movie Database
- Lange, Candy (2007). Public Relations for the Arts: What are the benefits?. München: GRIN Verlag GmbH. ISBN 9783638767293. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- Official website
- The Kostabi Show
- Con Artist
- Innsbruck Records, Mark Kostabi page
- Kostabi's Commode Confessional
- Interview with Michael Sladek, director of the Kostabi documentary: Con Artist
- Full Circle: The Kostabi Story on Vimeo, Trailer for documentary film, directed by Sabrina Digregorio]
- Mark Kostabi: Andy Warhol had nothing on this guy