Hendersonville, TN, January 11, 2024 –“We are thrilled to welcome Mark Kostabi back to Monthaven,” says Cheryl Strichik, the MACC’s executive director. “Mark’s colorful paintings are instantly recognizable and wildly popular. His 2022 exhibition attracted thousands of visitors to Monthaven, and I have no doubt that his new Venetian exhibit will be equally successful.”
Born in Los Angeles in 1960, Kostabi studied drawing and painting at California State University before moving to New York in 1982. By 1984, he was a prominent figure in the East Village art scene. Taking his cues from Andy Warhol, Kostabi developed a practice of employing a team of creative thinkers and skilled technicians to assist him in the production of his art. Interested in getting feedback from potential audiences about “what to paint,” Kostabi conducted market research by showing his sketches around, inviting comments and suggestions about his imagery and ideas. This led to building his own style or “brand,” which consists of faceless figures who engage in allegorical or metaphorical narratives.
In this new exhibition, Kostabi’s anonymous figures find themselves in Venice, Italy, where they are placed in situations that invite viewers to reflect on a wide range of topics, including art history, music, love, romance, dreams, spirituality, and the endangered environment. Executed in his trademark bright psychedelic colors, Kostabi’s paintings possess an aesthetic sensibility that reflects the high-tech domination of the 21st century.
An accomplished pianist and composer, Kostabi will perform some of his original piano compositions during a Venetian Masquerade at the MACC starting at 6 p.m. on Jan. 20. Space for the event is extremely limited, so tickets are required. Kostabi will also appear in a master class at 2 p.m. on Jan. 21.