::: Why are you an artist Mark?
an artist because thats what I was
best at as a kid. It was fun. I got lots
of encouragement from my parents, friends
and teachers. I continue to be an artist
for similar reasons and for the freedom
that an art career can bring. I dont
need an alarm clock and I am my own boss.
::: Could you tell me some more about
art is successful for many reasons: The
subject matter communicates. People like
the combination of the recognizable narratives
with the mystery of the faceless figures.
The forms are well defined by decisive
lines, chiaroscuro and seductive sfumato.
The colors are logically chosen.
+3 ::: Many of
the great masters from art history had
assistants painting for them, but today
people seem to have a lesser view on artists
that do this. You have a team of painters
working for you, could you share your
views on this?
lesser view of this is mostly held by
the art historically uninformed.
::: What artists have influenced you and
list is too long but a few of the majors
are: Caravaggio, De Chirico, Hopper,
The reasons why theyve influenced
my are too complex for me to investigate
at the moment.
::: What do you do for fun (besides art)?
Enjoy my life
in Italy: the people, the food, the architecture
and nature. I recently went hiking and
hope to do that more. Also movies.
::: What inspires you to paint and how
do you keep motivated when things get
tough in the studio?
Im inspired by seeing great art.
Observing human behaviour. Things dont
get tough in the studio. Sometimes things
get tough outside the studio and going
in the studio is a relief, a sanctuary,
::: How have you handled the business
side of being an artist?
This can best be understood by reading
my advice column at artnet.com
::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I really cant imagine a better place
than Italy, but you never know. In my
art career I hope to have had many major
museum shows by then, with many beautiful
art books well distributed throughout
the world. Id like the name Kostabi
to carry at least the same weight as Leonardo,
Caravaggio and Picasso.
::: You seem to be quite good at marketing
and promoting yourself as an artist. Are
there some things you would do differently
if you had the choice? Also, what are
some of your secrets to success?
moved to New York in January 1982 when
I was 21 years old. Had I known the importance
of New York earlier, I would have gone
there sooner. One secret to my success
is that I am faithful to my dreams and
dont cheat on my dreams by taking
drugs or blaming others when things dont
go right. Theres too much negativity
in the world. Staying positive is a better
::: What are your latest works about and
where are you going with them?
not sure what theyre about but Im
convinced theyre the best things
Ive done and Im going to the
worlds best museums with them.
::: What advice would you give to an artist
just starting out?
Do what you love. Go to a good art school
and study with the best teachers. Move
to New York and read "Ask Mark Kostabi"