LOS ANGELES 1960
Mark Kostabi nasce, da una famiglia di immigranti estoni, in California, dove rimarrà per i primi anni della sua vita nella località di Whittier. Studia disegno e pittura alla California State University. Nel 1982, si trasferisce a New York e dal 1984 diventa un‘importante figura di riferimento all‘interno del movimento artistico dell‘East Village. Durante questi anni si diverte nell‘uso provocatorio dei mass media con auto interviste con a tema l‘arte contemporanea. Dal 1987 viene riconosciuto come artista internazionale poiché le sue opere vengono richieste da gallerie di Giappone, Stati Uniti, Australia e Germania. Nel 1988 fonda "Kostabi World": il suo studio, galleria, ufficio a New York. Questa struttura produce grazie ai molti assistenti circa 1000 quadri all‘anno, di cui solo una piccola parte porta la firma del maestro. Dal 1996 divide la sua vita tra New York e Roma dove diventa un modello per molti artisti italiani. Negli ultimi anni si è dedicato al disegno di marchi pubbliciatari tra i quali gli orologi Swatch, tazze per caffè espresso, accessori per il computer e recentemente ha ricreato la maglia rosa del Giro d‘Italia. Ha collaborato pittoricamente con Enzo Cucchi, Arman, Howard Finster (nel 1992), Tadanori Yokoo (nel 1993) e Enrico Baj (nel 1992). Ha rilasciato interviste alla CNN e al canale MTV oltre che a numerose riviste e settmanali quali: New York Times, People, Vogue, Playboy, Forbes New York Magazine Domus, Artforum, Art in America, Artnews Arts, Flash Art e Tema Celeste
Artist and Composer Mark Kostabi was born in Los Angeles in 1960 to Estonian immigrants. 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 leading figure of the East Village art scene. During that time he also developed a provocative media persona by publishing self-interviews which commented on the commodification of contemporary art. By 1987 his works were widely exhibited in New York galleries and prominently 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 1996 be began dividing his time between New York and Rome and consequently his work‘s already strong presence in the Italian art scene was vigorously enhanced.
Kostabi produces a weekly cable TV show, Title This, where noted art critics and celebrities compete to title his paintings for cash awards.
He writes an advice column for artists, Ask Mark Kostabi, for Artnet.com.
Kostabi has designed album covers for Guns ‘N‘ Roses (Use Your Illusion) and The Ramones (Adios Amigos), Jimmey Scott (Holding Back The Years) and numerous products including a Swatch watch, limited-edition vases, espresso cups, computer accessories and a Giro d‘Italia pink jersey.
Kostabi is also known for his many collaborations with other artists including Enzo Cucchi, Arman, Howard Finster, Tadanori Yokoo, Enrico Baj and Paul Kostabi.
Kostabi has performed music as a soloist and with other musicians including Ornette Coleman, Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin, Puccio Panettieri and Paul Kostabi. His compostions have also been performed independently by Rein Rannap, Kristjan Järvi, Maano Männi, Delilah Gutman and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. His CDs include I Did It Steinway, Songs For Sumera and New Alliance. 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 Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome and the Groninger Museum in Holland.
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.
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.
The many books published about Kostabi include Sadness Because the Video Rental Store Was Closed, Kostabi: The Early Years, Conversations with Kostabi, The Rhythm of Inspiration, Mark Kostabi and the East Village Scene 1983-1987 and Mark Kostabi in the 21st Century.