Category: Figurative

Mark Kostabi

Artist Q&A with Mark Kostabi

Mark Kostabi is most known for his paintings of faceless figures which often comment on contemporary political, social and psychological issues, and which have visual stylistic roots in the work of Giorgio de Chirico and Fernand Léger.

Beyond traditional art world exposure, 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. Kostabi is also known for his many collaborations with other artists including Enzo Cucchi, Arman, Howard Finster, Tadanori Yokoo, Enrico Baj, and Paul Kostabi.

“Ideas are Drips from a Melting Brain”, oil on canvas, oil on canvas, 47 x 47 in | 120 x 120 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

That’s sort of like asking which city I prefer better: Rome or New York, where I have homes in both. I like each city equally but for different reasons. So the best I can do here is list some of my favorites: Caravaggio, Bernini, Picasso, Warhol, De Chirico, Hopper, Magritte, Dali’, Arman, Picabia and Duchamp.

How did you become a professional artist?

I had natural talent and a strong desire to draw at a young age. All the positive encouragement made it an easy career decision.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

Amanda Gorman’s poetry. The pandemic. New technology. And the concept of recycling and revisiting earlier works and ideas of mine and improving them. 

Mark Kostabi, portrait by Jean Kallina.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

It’s the … Click here to read more

KwangHo Shin

Artist Q&A with KwangHo Shin

 KwangHo Shin attempts to capture the complex relationship between the expression of emotion and the experience of the mind. With roots in Abstract Expressionism, he employs intense and vibrant oils juxtaposed with charcoal to distort the facial features of his subjects and confront them psychologically.

The artist deliberately refuses the depiction of precise form and proportion in an effort to transcend conventional representation and in turn confronts a more visceral type of portraiture. Faces are deconstructed but retain the power of expression as the artist reimagines them in a patchwork of carefully yet energetically applied strokes of color. Shin’s paintings convey the inner psychological processes of his subjects but also remind the viewer of the artist’s presence.

“[21p09] untitled”, oil on canvas, 21 x 16 in | 53 x 41 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

My favorite artists include Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, and Alberto Giacometti.

How did you become a professional artist?

Because I used to like making or drawing something, I went to an art high school and naturally went to an art school. By making works and posting them on social media after graduation, I was able to arrive at this point. I just did what I enjoyed doing.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

The images in my art are shaped through the emotions formed in conversation with the people around me, and the images and stories gathered through mass media such as the news.

KwangHo Shin, self-portrait.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

I mainly use primary colors, and the texture is very thick; therefore, I believe that my work permits multitude of emotions and feelings when seen in person.

When is a piece finished for you?

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White Noise V

White Noise at WhiteBox

White Noise V. Matt Sullivan and Beatrice A. Martino.

A skinny, disheveled Asian man spins on a pile of empty cans, screaming and waving his bare arms and legs while strangers throw more cans on him, producing a deafening noise. The man is Chin Chih Yang, a New York-based Taiwanese artist who is a familiar character at WhiteBox’s performative events. His act closes the second day of the fifth edition of White Noise, a series devoted to sound and multimedia visual performance art.   

Organized by WhiteBox, an alternative art space currently located in Harlem, White Noise was first started in 2005 in the organization’s original gallery in Chelsea. Now it moves around the city and its latest installment has been taking place in the New York neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant, hosted in a 19th-century mansion made available by Georgian artist Eteri Chkadua who lives here with her brother Gotcha, also an artist.

For White Noise, the curator and artistic director Juan Puntes assembles a diverse group of international artists that create an engaging and unpredictable soireè. At these events, a musical performance can follow a video projection, a poetry reading can accompany a multimedia installation and an occasional dancer can make an appearance –an eclectic bunch with one common denominator, exploration and experimentation. 

On Saturday, October 16th a packed living room was the setting for a gripping succession of performances including videos by transmedia artist Eva Petrič, and a live reading and screening of a graphic novel by indie-rocker and social critic,Jeffrey Lewis. Throughout the night, Mr. Puntes made sure that the artists had a proper platform to present their work and that the audience had an opportunity to connect and engage with the artists and explore the hosting space. He was clearly in his natural habitat, … Click here to read more