KOSTABI PAUL ©
"The Last Picture Show"
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Paul Kostabi is an American painter, musician and record producer of Estonian origin. Born in Whittier, California, in 1962, Paul begins very young to tread the artistic scene in New York, in the early '80s, at a time when "the Big Apple" is the world capital of contemporary art, thanks not only to the figure of Andy Warhol, the absolute n.1 in those years and the true deity of American art since the '60s, but also to young artists like Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The culture of street art is the ideal context for Paul who enters the environment with paintings that, at only 20 years of age, already have the artistic depth of a mature author. His art, gestural and of strong chromatic impact, has as its subjects fierce self-portraits, imaginary characters, landscapes, still lifes, abstract compositions, with a language that refers to that of childhood or to Dubuffet's Art Brut. His works are both accurate and full of carelessness, so that his style is unique. Even the media he uses testify to this duplicity, as he paints on high quality and low quality media. Impressive his exhibition history: the first exhibition dates back to 1983, but already in 1985 he exhibited at Ronald Feldman, at that time the most important gallery in NY, in 1991 at Carnegie Hall and until 2000 in prestigious galleries in the USA. In 2002 the first exhibition in Europe and since then a long series of exhibitions around the world, in public and private places of prestige. Paul is a well-known musician, has founded, along with others, the following musical groups: Youth Gone Mad (1981), White Zombie (1984) and Psychotica. In 2002, Kostabi played, together with Dee Dee Ramone and C.J. Ramone (of the Ramones), the song Blitzkrieg Bop at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, along with Daniel Rey and Marky Ramone. It was the last time these Ramones members appeared on the same stage. Later, Kostabi played and recorded with Dee Dee Ramone's Too Tough to Die Live, and also recorded with False Alarm and Hammerbrain. In 2006, he started a recording studio in Piermont, New York State. Together with Dee Dee Ramone he produced a series of paintings exhibited in galleries around the world. A vinyl LP titled "Youth Gone Mad featuring Dee Dee Ramone" was released in 2002, produced by the independent label trend is dead! records, featuring music by Kostabi and Dee Dee. He is also known for giving the title to the legendary painting "Use Your Illusion" made by his brother Mark Kostabi, a work that gave the title to the well-known Guns 'N Roses albums vol.1 and 2. His work is in world-class public collections: Guggenheim Museum, New York, Paterson Museum, New Jersey, New England Museum of Art, Brooklyn, Connecticut Millennium Museum, Whitney Museum of Art, Video, Paper Tiger Sessions, Museion Museum, Bozen, Kingston Pop Museum, New York, MACRO, Rome, and was featured in Architectural Digest, in 2016. In 2015 he created the curious and funny character "#SPRKL" (painting and sculpture), which, the following year, was included in the game Pokemon GO. In terms of the market, significant is the figure related to auctions: to date, over 500 of his works have been beaten in the major international auction houses. Also noteworthy is his collaboration with other artists: his brother Mark Kostabi (artist of international renown), Tony Esposito (the greatest Italian percussionist), LA II (Little Angel Ortiz), Franco Fortunato. Represented by the Follin Gallery in New York, his works are present in many important galleries also in Europe and in Italy, where he collaborates with various galleries. The latest collaboration, in chronological order, is with the Piero Della Francesca Art Gallery of Arezzo, a historic Italian gallery founded in 1969, which since 2022 has been dealing mainly with his large format works.Read more Close