Weird… last night I had a dream that Mark Kostabi was showing his work here in Utah. It wasn’t being shown at anyplace familiar, but my sense was that it was at the BYU museum, although the building looked nothing like the BYU museum. There was also a couple of other artists whose work was on display in my dream although I don’t remember who, and I also remember the Batmobile was there too.
I don’t know if you remember Mark Kostabi, but he was pretty well known in the 80s. I kind of liked his work to be honest, but his process was not something that I appreciated. Kostabi was known for his factory, where he employed a number of different artists to come up with “his” ideas, which they were also paid to produce in the Kostabi style. I understand that the process itself is some sort of statement on mass production, and how the products we use are very impersonal, but its still not something that resonates with me. As a matter of fact, I don’t like it, because for me at least actually coming up with the idea and executing it is the best part of the creative process. But I guess that is just me.
Like I say, I do kind of like the style itself though, and some of the pieces. The colors, the toilet plungers, witch-hats, his portrayal of corporate and consumer culture, the figures themselves. They are kinda nice.
I remember being in San Francisco in 1988 or 89 and his work seemed to be everywhere. One piece stands out for me from that trip. It was a painting of a guy trapped in a cage trying to escape, with the cage being the head and face of another person. It was nice. But the truth is, I haven’t though of him much since then. Well, maybe I’ve thought of him a little bit because I did buy a book about him on that trip, which I’ve looked through here and there since then. It’s called Sadness Because the Rental Video Store Was Closed.
Anyway, dreams… who knows…