Shout Magazine

Mark Kostabi on Don Doe

Shock art and installations today are as academic and routine as salon painting was in the nineteenth century. Finally, a ’90s artist with some real talent! Don Doe doesn’t need to hide behind gimmicky mixed-media installations, pseudo-political posturing, or pretentious anti-materialistic hypocrisy. Well-equipped with fluid representational watercolor technique, yet not at the expense of endlessly fresh and provocative ideas, Doe delivers masterpiece after masterpiece in the spirit of no-nonsense geniuses like Edward Hopper, Magritte, and Reginald Marsh.

The first time I saw his watercolors, I bought one on the spot, even before catching his name. Bed-Board (1998) depicts a couple sleeping, alienated from each other in bed. Doe offers a twist on the theme of career versus romance by separating the two with a painting on an easel, which lies between them in bed.

His beautiful compositions and sensuously flowing rhythms place Doe on an even higher level than Nicole Eisenman (sorry, Nicole). How ironic that the brother of John Doe, the symbol of the everyday Joe, ends up being the antithesis of average.

September 1998