Category: Pop

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

Robin Antar

Artist Q&A with Robin Antar

American sculptor Robin Antar was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1957. All of Antar’s current work is rooted in observation. “Whatever is going on, I express it in stone,” Antar says. “It could come out as realism, as an abstract form, or as a combination of both. The style I use is one that best reflects the inspiration behind each piece.”

“Ballpark Frank”, limestone, travertine, mixed media, and steel, 12 x 39 x 16 in | 31 x 100 x 41 cm, 2017

How did you become a professional artist?

Ever since I took chisel to stone over forty years ago, sculpting has been my “language” for communication. I’ve sculpted through teenage angst, marriage, divorce, having children and losing one of them to addiction. 

In my early years, aesthetic beauty and superficial thought were not a concern as I focused instead on fundamental feelings and basic sensations, creating abstracted sculptures with an uncommon perspective, jarring color and anomalous form. I set up a working studio in Brooklyn after receiving my BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and continued carving in a loose, intuitive style rooted in my emotions and personal experiences. I created a series of carved stone knots as an exploration of the formal possibilities of intertwinements. While the imagery of knotting is deeply embedded in our consciousness as a metaphor for unresolvable or transformative conflicts, my choice of marble for this series has connections to nature and high culture in art history. My most powerful work, David’s Knot in Flames, reflects this perfectly. Carved in Turkish marble, I created the sculpture in memory of my youngest son who passed away at the age of 26. The knot represents his pain as a Click here to read more

Alex Cao

Artist Q&A with Alex G. Cao

Alex G. Cao “Immortal” installation view

How and why did you become an artist?

Coming from China to New York City in the 80s was a wonderful experience; a world of beauty and enchantment. While studying at Fashion Institute of Technology, I was fortunate to be surrounded by fashion and beauty while gaining experience working in a creative field. Through work, I was engaging with pop culture, glorifying beauty and a vibrating downtown NYC scene. I began to reflect on the use of logos and classic icons as markers of society, as recognizable as the Parthenon of Ancient Greece or the Roman Colosseum – perhaps even more recognizable.
 
I visited Naples and Pompeii just after graduating to discover these iconic ancient cities which have the most profound impact. Through my travels I was able to identify the iconic styles and architecture of classical Greco-Roman society. In these places I uncovered mosaics which lined city streets for centuries.  I started to make art while engaging with these memories, recalling this trip to Pompeii and building the architecture of my artistic career on the memory of this experience. After spending time in the piazzas of Italy surrounded by these ancient art forms. It was these formative trips that continue to inspire me artistically.

Tell us about your new show “Immortal.”  What is the meaning of it?

This new body of work in “Immortal” blends the pop culture imagery I always inspired and fascinating in with materials including plexiglass, canvas and stainless steel mirrors. The stainless steel mirror holds particular significance as it reflects and augments what you’re already witnessing; even projecting outward. The tension between the relationship of small repetitive images and the large final composition makes this work especially poignant. 

These framed work are … Click here to read more