Shout Magazine

Mark Kostabi on Mark Kostabi

DFN Gallery, 560 Broadway, through January 11 through February 17, 2001

Roger Smith Gallery, 47th St. and Lexington Avenue, through January 7, 2001

So why shouldn’t I just write about myself this month? After all, I have two shows up in our beloved city this month. The manipulative politician in me would rather faux-selflessly write about many other great shows currently visible: Fred Tomaselli at James Cohan; Will Cotton at Mary Boone; or Robert Williamson at Tony Shafrazi. But since my New Year’s resolution is to be twice as self-promotional than ever, the gut-wrenchingly honest publicity puppy in me wins out.

At DFN Gallery I’m showing my portraits of Al Gore made out of chads. I got the idea to make these works from one of my idea people in New York while I was in Rome. The portraits were executed by my assistants and then featured in the New York Post before I even saw them. Subsequently I’ve given numerous television and radio interviews about these unquestionably good and conceptually amusing artworks, which I am proud to say I have almost no attachment to, except for the signature. I even lifted the titles from the press: “Scads of Chads”, “More for Gore”, and “Chad’s All Folks”.

I feel like a Frisbee skimming the surface of our media-dominated reality–never quite fully making contact but, like a good politician, always going with the wind.

If you hurry, you can catch my show at the Roger Smith Gallery. I’m showing a large, epic painting, “The Big Picture,” which I created this past summer–also with the help of assistants. This work, however, is more near and dear to my heart. It shows the current manifestation of Kostabi World, my lower east-side studio, complete with a pianist (me) who provides musical inspiration while my painters crank out the product. My Internet department then posts the work on eBay while my shipping department endlessly tapes up cardboard boxes filled with art goodies, which are rhythmically seized by the constant stream of FedEx guys that shuttle up and down and to and from the elevator of my Ludlow Street empire. Winged laptop computers hover overhead with arms clutching plump moneybags, which emerge from their screens.

For further Kostabi mania, check out the advice column that I write for

Okay, now that I’m done writing about myself, I’m going back to my studio to make more great art, which I will write about somewhere else. In February I’ll be back here in Shout plugging “another artist,” with my self-promotional agenda slightly more hidden.

Mark Kostabi is an artist and composer who lives and works in New York and Rome.

January 2001