Mark Kostabi (American, b.1960) is a painter best known for work that depicts faceless figures in Surrealist-inspired settings. Born in Los Angeles, he studied painting and drawing at California State University, Fullerton, before moving to New York in 1981. He opened a studio in downtown Manhattan called Kostabi World, where he continues to hire assistants to come up with ideas for his paintings and execute them on canvas. Kostabi only signs his work and focuses on marketing and self-promotion. He organizes Name That Painting, a game show that invites art critics and celebrities to title Kostabi’s work for cash prizes. Some recurring themes in his work include alienation, corporate greed, and the contemporary production of art. One of his recent works, Chain of Desire (2005), Kostabi comments on his own methodology by depicting an artist working on a laptop that is connected to the back of a painter’s assistant. Kostabi has worked on a number of commercial projects, including an album cover design for the Guns N’ Roses album Use Your Illusion and the Ramones album Adios Amigos. His work is held in several museum collections, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the National Gallery of Art in Rome. He lives and works in New York.

Timeline

1961
Born: Los Angeles, CA
1988
Founded “Kostabi World” on Ludlow Street in New York, NY

Exhibitions

2009
Per Mari e Monti Arte Contemporanea, Civitanova Marche, Italy (solo)
Museo Civico Umberto Mastroianni, Marino, Italy (solo)
Galleria d'Arte L'Incontro, Chiari, Italy (solo)
2008
Mark Kostabi, Galleria Tondinelli, Roma, Italy (solo)
Casa dell' Arte, Contemporary Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey (solo)
2007
Martin Lawrence Galleries, La Jolla, CA; San Francisco, CA (solo)
Patricia Correia Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Galleria Granelli, Livorno, Italy (solo)
Mark Kostabi-It’s a wonderful Kostabi World (part two), L'Ariete Contemporanea, Bologna, Italy (solo)
Aperitivo d’Arte, Wine bar Campaneschi, Roma, Italy
Economia ed Arte dalla bottega al video, Palazzo Trentini, Trento, Italy
Ancora Pop, Galleria il Narciso, Roma, Italy
Parole dentro, Galleria Bluorg, Bari, Italy
2006
Palazzo della Penna, Perugia, Italy (solo)
Modenarte, Modena, Italy (solo)
Galleria del Palazzo, Palazzo Coveri, Florence, Italy (solo)
Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Chiostro del Bramante, Rome, Italy (solo)
Antico Castello sul Mare, Rapallo, Italy (solo)
Galleria Imperatori, Porto San Giorgio, Italy (solo)
George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
2005
Ex Museo Civica, Spoleto, Italy (solo)
Gallerie Rosini, Riccione, Italy (solo)
Pio Monti, Rome, Italy (solo)
2004
Magazzini del Sale, Cervia, Italy (solo)
Embassy of Estonia, Washington, D.C. (solo)
Galleria Francocancelliere, Messina, Italy (solo)
Centro d'Arte Mercurio, Palermo, Italy (solo)
Excalibur Artecontemporanea,Solcio di Lesa, Italy (solo)
Castello Visconteo di Vogogna (Vb), Italy (solo)
Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2003
Andrea Arte Contemporanea, Vicenza, Italy
Galleria Civica di Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Chiesina dell' Ospedale, Meldola (FC), Italy
adarte (Expoarte), Montichiari, Italy
Pio Monti, Rome, Italy
Scoletta dei Battioro, Venice, Italy
Arte Contemporanea e Dintorni, Como, Italy
2002
Stefan Stux Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Galleria del Tasso, Bergamo, Italy (solo)
Galleria Nuova Gissi, Turin, Italy (solo)
Galleria Rosini & C., Rimini, Italy (solo)
Galleria Faustini, Forte dei Marmi, Italy (solo)
2001
Fidesarte, Mestre-Venezia, Italy (solo)
Galleria d'Arte L'Incontro, Chiari, Italy (solo)
Floriana Tondinelli Art Gallery, Rome, Italy (solo)
Per Mari e Monti, Treia, Italy (solo)
Banca di Teramo, Teramo, Italy (solo)
Marchese Arte Contemporanea, Prato, Italy (solo)
2000
ArteCapital, Brescia, Italy (solo)
Trevi Flash Art Museum of International Contemporary Art, Trevi, Italy (solo)
Guastalla Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Forte dei Marmi, Italy (solo)
Temple Gallery, Temple University, Rome, Italy (solo)
Galleria L'Ariete, Bologna, Italy (solo)
Guastalla Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Livorno, Italy (solo)
Francesco Cancelliere Artecontemporanea, Messina, Italy (solo)
Roger Smith Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1999
Galleria Pio Monti, Rome, Italy (solo)
Rocca Malatestiana, Fano, Italy (solo)
Le Bain Art Gallery, Rome, Italy (solo)
Martin Lawrence Galleries, New York, NY; Oakbrook, IL (solo)
Palazzina Azzurra, San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy (solo)
Boxart Galleria d'Arte, San Bonifacio, Italy (solo)
Studio G, Milan, Italy (solo)
1998
L'Immagine Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea, Arezzo, Italy (solo)
Ferrara Arte, Ferrara, Italy (solo)
Blu Art Arte Moderna, Alba Adriatica, Italy (solo)
Galleria Arte Rotaross, Novara, Italy (solo)
Martin Lawrence Galleries, Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA (solo)
Galerie Le Jardin des Arts, Jingumae; Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Mitsukoshi, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Hankyu, Osaka, Japan (solo)
Galleria Soave, Alessandria, Italy (solo)
Galleria Botero, Pescara, Italy (solo)
Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia (solo)
1997
Oprandi Arte Contemporanea, Boltiere, Italy (solo)
Scola dei Tiraoro e Battioro, Venice, Italy (solo)
Martin Lawrence Galleries, Los Angeles, CA; Newport Beach, CA; San Francisco, CA; New York, NY (solo)
Castello Doria, Porto Venere, Italy (solo)
Galleria Nuova Gissi, Turin, Italy (solo)
Galleria d'Arte Moderna "Il Castello", Milan, Italy (solo)
1996
Centro Arte, Milan, Italy (solo)
Elisabetta Frigieri Arte Contemporanea, Sassoulo, Italy (solo)
Neuffer Am Park, Pirmasens, Germany (solo)
Nicolae Galerie, Colombus, OH (solo)
Martin Lawrence Galleries, Chicago, IL; Oakbrook, Il; King of Prussia, PA (solo)
1995
Dante Vecchiato Galleria d'Arte, Padova, Italy (solo)
Guidi Galleria d'Arte, Genova, Italy (solo)
Galleria Blu Art, Alba Adriatica, Italy (solo)
Martin Lawrence Modern, New York, NY (solo)
Galerie Sho, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Galleria d'Arte Moderna "Il Castello," Milan, Italy (solo)
1994
Nicolae Gallery, Colombus, OH (solo)
Studio Gastadelli, Milan, Italy (solo)
Hanson Galleries, New Orleans, LA (solo)
Arlene Bujese Gallery, East Hampton, NY (solo)
Martin Lawrence Modern, New York, NY (solo)
Giavanni Di Summa Galleria d' Arte, Rome, Italy (solo)
Studio Spaggiari, Milan, Italy (solo)
Sony Building, Osaka, Japan (solo)
1993
Galerie Kaess-Weiss, Stuttgart, Germany
Santo Ficara Arte, Florence, Italy (solo)
Martin Lawrence Galerry, Washington D.C.; Santa Clara, CA (solo)
Hanson Galleries, New Orleans; LA; La Jolla, CA (solo)
Centro D'Arte Moderna "Agatirio," Capo d'Orlando, Italy (solo)
Azabu Museum (Collaborations with Tadanori Yokoo), Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Kobe-Hankyu (Collaborations with Tadanori Yokoo), Kobe, Japan (solo)
Multimedia Arte Contemporanea (collaborations with Enrico Baj), Brescia, Italy (solo)
Cradle Salon/Aoyama Commons (collaborations with Linda Mason and Seiichi Tanaka), Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1992
Galleri Max, Stockholm, Denmark (solo)
Martin Lawrence Modern, New York, NY (solo)
Sinimandria Gallery, Tartu, Estonia (solo)
Mitsukoshi Museum, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Galleria Les Chances de l'Art, Bolzano, Italy (solo)
Studio Spaggiari, Milan, Italy (solo)
Galleria D'Arte Rizziero, Teramo, Italy (solo)
Ginza Yamato Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Studio Cristofori, Bologna, Italy (solo)
Vaal Galerii, Tallinn, Estonia (solo)
Seibu, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Gio Marconi and Fondazione Mudima (collaborations with Enrico Baj), Milan, Italy (solo)
P.M.M.K. Museum Voor Moderne Kunst (collaborations with Enrico Baj), Ostende, Belgium (solo)
The Columbia Museum of Art (collaborations with Howard Finster), Columbia, SC (solo)
1991
Art Collection House, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Galleria Dello Scudo, Verona, Italy (solo)
Art Collection House, Osaka, Japan (solo)
Frank Bustamante Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Galerie Kaess-Weiss, Stuttgart, Germany (solo)
Hama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Access Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Galerie 1900-2000: Marcel Fleiss, Paris, France (solo)
Elisabetta Frigieri Arte Contemporanea, Carpi, Italy (solo)
Paolo Majorana, Brescia, Italy (solo)
Galleria In Arco, Turin, Italy (solo)
1990
Govinda Gallery, Washington D.C. (solo)
First Gallery, Moscow, Russia (solo)
Mijor Gallery, Kyoto, Japan (solo)
Hanson Galleries, New Orleans, LA; San Francisco, CA (solo)
Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Ergane Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
Gallery Sho, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Seibu, Tokyo, Japan
Studio d'Arte Raffaelli, Trento, Italy (solo)
California State University, Fullerton, CA (solo)
1989
Tamara Bane, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Fernando Alcolea Galeria d'Art, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
Hanson Galleries, Beverly Hills, CA; San Francisco, CA (solo)
Fly by Night Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Hokin Gallery, Miami, FL (solo)
Alan Brown Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1988
Phillip Samuels Fine Arts, St Louis, MO (solo)
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY (solo)
The Morgan Gallery, Boston, MA (solo)
Access Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Hanson Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1987
Jan Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA (solo)
Wiesner Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Peter Miller Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
1986
Seed Hall, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Folker Skulima Gallery, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY (solo)
1985
Nada Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
Semaphore, New York, NY(solo)
Eastman-Wahmendorf, New York, NY(solo)
Semaphore and Semaphore East, New York, NY(solo)
Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (solo)
Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia (solo)
Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
Art Awareness, Lexington, NY (solo)
1984
Molly Barnes Gallery, Los Angeles, CA(solo)
Limbo Lounge, New York, NY(solo)
Hal Bromm Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
Semaphore, New York, NY(solo)
Lucky Strike Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
Hal Bromm Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1983
Limbo Lounge, New York, NY(solo)
Simone Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1982
Molly Barnes Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1981
California State University, Fullerton, CA (solo)
Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA (solo)

Public Collections

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, NY
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
The National Gallery of Art, Rome, Italy
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Literature

2002
Baird Jones. Mark Kostabi and The East Village Scene 1983-1987"Venice, Italy: Matteo Editore, 2002