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Mark Kostabi

biography

Los Angeles 1960

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 has designed album covers for famous singers and numerous products including Swatch watches, 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.
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.

exhibitions

publications