Tag Archive | Mark Kostabi

In Memorium: Ten Photos of Daisy Berkowitz Wearing a Kilt

Scott and Skeleton Ts
Scott Putesky (aka Daisy Berkowitz): April 28, 1968 – October 22, 2017 (All Photos By Gail)

I believe that it is possible to live an entire lifetime in one day. I met Scott Putesky (sometimes better known as Daisy Berkowitz, founding member and original guitarist for the band called Marilyn Manson) in 2015 at mutual friend Mark Kostabi’s semi-annual Jazz Art Brunch. Mark, an accomplished musician himself, knows a ton of other musicians, and people always get up and jam with the band. At one point Scott played keyboards and sang a couple of cover songs. After he finished his set, I introduced myself, since I had written extensively about his band back in the day and I knew we had a few other mutual friends. Scott turned out to be very down-to-earth guy, and a terrific conversationalist, so we drank and laughed, talked about art and exchanged cards for a possible future meet up.

Mark Scott Gail Frieze 2015
Mark Kostabi with Scott and Me at Frieze 2015

I already new from hearing it in the media that Scott had been diagnosed stage 4 colon cancer, and in one of our first conversations he told me how he was undergoing chemotherapy sessions every other week to keep it in check. He wasn’t shy about discussing his treatment because he wanted people to understand that he was fighting as hard as he could, and that he was also determined to live his life to the fullest. At this point, his prognosis did not include the probability of a cure and recovery. He was just trying to buy as much time as possible.

Scott FB Profile Pic
Scott did not want to pose with this relief sculpture of two sunflowers, but I made him do it. He loved the resulting photo so much he used it as his FaceBook Profile Photo for nearly a year.

Scott was not only a musician, he was also a fine artist who had a voracious curiosity about art history. The annual Frieze Art Fair (which takes place on New York’s Randall’s Island) was coming up and Scott had never been, so we made plans to attend together. I thought it was hilarious when he asked me what he should wear. “You’re a Rock Star,” I reminded him. “You don’t  need me to tell you how to dress.” Scott showed up to the dock wearing a bespoke kilt made from Clan Scott Tartan along with the complete traditional accessories. It should not surprise anyone that once we arrived at Frieze, everyone asked “the guy wearing the kilt” to pose for photos. I took a few myself and will now share them with you, because I think they show a fun-loving side of Scott, and he would appreciate being remembered in this way.

Scott and Red McCracken

One of the works that Scott most wanted to see at Frieze is this Red Plank by minimalist pioneer John McCracken.

Scott With John McCracken
Scott With John McCracken Sculpture Vibes

Scott and Mood Machine
Scott Considers a Sculpture Called the Mood Machine

Mirror Selfie
No Art Fair Experience is Complete Without at Least One Commemorative Mirror Selfie

Scott and Gail Dots Background
Photo By Mark Kostabi

Scott Vampire

Sadly, I have neither any knowledge of the title of this work, nor the artist’s name.

Scott and Linder

This work is entitled It’s the Buzz, Cock by artist Linder Sterling. The image was famously used as the sleeve artwork for the Buzzcocks1977 45 RPM single release, Orgasm Addict.

Scott Serious

This piece is by an artist whose work I know, and whose name I should remember, but I just can’t recall it right now. Scott’s expression is hilarious to me.

Scott and I wore ourselves out at Frieze and took the ferry back into Manhattan around 5:00 pm to attend another hyped-up-the-ass exhibit opening, which turned out to be a bust. Not to be deterred from continuing our Art Safari into the night, we moved on to another exhibit just up the block, and then took the party to a place that was once the home of Manhattan’s longest bar for snacks and drinks, and more conversation. Later, we walked in a light rain from Houston to Union Square, stopping in at the occasional curiosity shop like this place (where Scott purchased a large bag of assorted Gummy Candies) before I finally dropped him off at the subway on 14th Street and then continued on to my home.

We had an entire lifetime in one day.

Even above all of the times I saw him onstage with Marilyn Manson, my favorite memories of Scott are of the day we spent at Frieze and then prowling downtown Manhattan like two friends who just loved art and NYC. Now, you have those memories as well. RIP Scott. You are very much missed.

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DIY Psychedelic Recycling Bin

Pyschedelic Recycling Bin
Photo By Gail

Hey, here’s a simple, cost-effective and undeniably creative way to liven-up an ordinary, bland blue recycling bin that you might have sitting out back on your patio, or in the basement or garage, or wherever. All you need are hands, a few cans of spray paint and little bit of an aesthetic feel for what colors look good together.

I saw this bin in the backyard of artist Mark Kostabi, who works for Total Waste Disposal WA. I can’t say if Mark actually did the painting, but it pleases me to imagine that he did.

Video Clip of The Week: Kostabeat, “All The Way Jose”



As cold and rainy as it’s suddenly become here in NYC, summer could be months in the past instead of just a few weeks behind us. Fortunately, it is possible to recapture summer’s eternal essence with the charming video for “All The Way Jose”, which comes to us courtesy of Kostabeat — the collaboration of artist/musician Mark Kostabi and percussionist Tony Esposito. Grounded in a very strong Steely Dan vibe (think:“New Frontier”), “All The Way Jose” perfectly captures a sunny, carefree afternoon, as we follow a days’ adventures of an attractive lady who’s smitten by an equally good looking man of mystery.

Kostabeat Screen Shot

Filmed on location in Rome, “All The Way Jose” features Grammy award-winning opera singer Greesi Desiree Langovits flawlessly lip syncing to Elizabeth Lo Piccolo’s original vocals, with Italian actors Vincenzo Martucci and Giovanni De Filippas playing the parts of her bodyguard and love interest, respectively. My favorite part is where Langovits, whose performance is spot on, cracks herself up at the 1:30 mark. She is just adorable and totally rocks a very uniquely-groomed set of eyebrows! Watch for Mark Kostabi’s cameo (checking his Instagram feed in a cafe), and stay tuned for the surprise reveal at the end!

Enjoy!

Photos from Mark Kostabi’s Jazz Art Brunch!

Two Kostabi Paintings
Two Works by Mark Kostabi (All Photos By Gail)

If I could name only one person whom I’ve most enjoyed meeting and getting to know since I started writing about the New York City contemporary art scene, it would be Mark Kostabi. Mark is not only an extraordinarily talented artist and musician, but he’s also one of the nicest and most generous people I can name. On a day that is currently also memorable for being the day after the warmest day of the year so far, Mark hosted a wildly fun Jazz Art Brunch at the Dillon Gallery in Chelsea, where everybody listened to awesome live music, shared their art, ate, drank and had a great time! It was an ideal opportunity to meet up and hang out with friends that you normally only get to see on FaceBook!

Paul with Art
Mark’s Brother, Musician and Artist Paul Kostabi Poses with his Signature Creation, “Sparkl”

Dillon Gallery Room Shot
Paul and Mark Kostabi Prep for the Show

Part of the inspiration for the event was to give Mark and his band the chance to warm up in front of a live audience prior to their upcoming set at the release party for their CD, Kostabeat, held at the Cutting Room a few days later. Here are a few of our favorite photos from the day!

Brunch Buffet

Check out this delicious Brunch Buffet (courtesy of Sullivan Street Bakery) featuring all of my favorite carbs!

Maven Cocktails Red

At the brunch we were also introduced to a tasty beverage, Maven Cocktails, which is a blend of premium wine infused with top shelf vodka – my two favorite beverages of choice! Maven tastes amazing and comes in a lovely resealable glass bottle – classy! I was very partial to the Pinot Noir blend but white wine fans can also enjoy a Chardonnay variety! Maven Cocktails, FTW!

Mark and Paul Art
Art By Mark Kostabi and Paul Kostabi

Kostabeat Band
L to R Paul Kostabi, Keith LeBlanc, Paul Nowinski, Mollie Israel, Tony Esposito, Mark Kostabi

In this photo, the band performs the sublime “Spoleto Dream” from Kostabeat, which is an excellent album.

Band with Paul Nowinski

Paul Nowinski also plays with Keith Richards and he is a phenomenal bass player!

Mollie Israel

Here’s better photo of Mollie, a lovely and talented lady!

Tony Esposito

The multi-talented Tony Esposito is an accomplished percussionist, arranger, composer and producer who is Mark’s creative partner in the Kostabeat experience.

Mark Kostabi

Always the gracious host, Mark invited several guest musicians to sit in with the band or perform solo.

Scott Putesky

Multi-instrumentalist Scott Putesky performed a compelling ballad arrangement of The Pixes’ “Wave Of Mutilation,” which is one of my favorites. Scott is perhaps best known in Pop Culture Legend as Daisy Berkowitz, former guitarist for the classic, Portrait of an American Family-era of Marilyn Manson — a band that was certainly a force to be reckoned with in its prime.

Art by Scott Putesky

Scott is also a fine artist who creates intriguing modern abstracts, such as the work above. Fascinating.

Paul Kostabi and Drummer

I’m not sure who this drummer is, but he was just adorable, and a serious badass on the kit!

Thanks again to Mark Kostabi and his super cool assistant, Heidi Follin, for making it a great day for everyone!

Recommended Listening: Mark Kostabi’s Kostabeat!

Kostabeat CD Cover

Some people have all the talent, it seems. It’s no secret that world famous pop artist Mark Kostabi is also a phenomenally gifted pianist and composer – and fortunately for us, he is not shy about sharing his music with a global audience. Mark Kostabi!

Kostabeat! is Mark’s new CD collaboration with Italian drummer, Tony Esposito. The album’s press release tells the fun story about how the two “met at one of Kostabi’s extravagant parties in Rome [where the artist lives for half the year. Nice]. Kostabi was on piano in the middle of a jam session when Esposito suddenly got on drums and Kostabi was blown away by Esposito’s commanding, percussive drive. They immediately agreed to collaborate on an album. Three years and 50 concerts later, Kostabeat! exists!

Of course, Mark and Tony gathered a group of top-shelf musicians to play on the album as well. Paul Kostabi (Mark’s brother, a musician of some repute who is also an artist), plays guitar on most of Kostabeat!’s songs, and he is joined by Italy’s most famous saxophonist, Stefano Di Battista; Lino Pariota providing his expertise on a variety of keyboards; and Antonio Nicola Bruno playing bass on all eleven tunes. Esposito produced the album in collaboration with Paul Kostabi.

As with 2011’s The Spectre of Modernism on which Kostabi collaborated with the legendary founder of Free Jazz: Ornette Coleman, drummer Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel) and Bass/Chapman Stick master Tony Levin, Kostabeat! achieves a multi-genre, crossover appeal and is notable for being Kostabi’s first not-entirely-instrumental album. Here, Mark’s Playful and provocative lyrics are sung by a team of female vocalists: Mollie Israel (daughter of film directors Amy Heckerling and Neal Israel) Elizabeth LoPiccolo, a very talented and fiery, emerging Brooklyn singer and Monica Marziota: a Cuban-Italian singer who also has careers in opera and Latin pop music. All technical proficiency aside, it sounds like everyone involved had a fantastic time making this record.

“Unexpected” is how you might sum up the variety of music you’ll hear on Kostabeat! The CD’s lively opening track, “New Muse” leads with Mark’s gorgeous classically-inspired piano, layered with hand percussion, before flowing into a staccato synth riff and distinctly world beat vibe highlighted by Marziota’s otherworldly vocals. “Oriental Scale” finds Di Battista toying with an arabesque motif on his sax over an insistent and undeniably groovy beat. The exultant “Eternity Now” seems a natural choice for a remix treatment by any one of the moment’s top DJ’s (and it would certainly pack the dance floor in any night club) but it’s sure to find that audience just as it sounds on the disc. Rave on!

Things get a little laid back with “Echoes of Twilight,” which begins with the delightfully seductive, spoken lyrics, “Thank you for a lovely invitation, but I already have plans for the evening.” The instrumental “Megatron Horizon” is a bit of genre-bender that will appeal to the electronic dance contingent, but things get sultry again with “Glide With Me.” Bruno’s funky bass lines anchor the song before LoPiccolo’s gorgeous vocal delivery has a chance to fully intoxicate you. Love this track!

Of course, we did not miss the significance of the title on “11:11” – which is number we seem to see very time we look at the clock. The lyrics, “Eleven Eleven, a sign from heaven” prove that Kostabi the lyricist is on the same page. We appreciate the uplifting lyrics on a non-rock song that truly rocks! “11:11” is also an example of the meticulous arrangements that feature on each song. Getting back to the CD’s lyrics for a moment, “Mine Tonight,” a song about, er, spending the night with a hooker, features a spoken word interlude that I’d guess was culled from Kostabi’s FaceBook feed, to wit: “just so you know, I feel very grateful for the times we shared together and I’m so glad that we are still friends. You’re a very special person and I hold you in high regard. I enjoy seeing your posts and watching her life evolve in positive ways.” So, who says FaceBook is a waste of time?

Last but not least, we would like to offer that “All The Way Jose” manages to mention both guacamole and margaritas and cheekily name-check Roger Daltrey while favorably recalling the very best of Steely Dan. Kostabeat! Is an ideal soundtrack for entertaining a group of any size or just lounging around by your bad self. Nice work, guys (and gals)! Kostabeat! is available via iTunes and on the historic Italian record label Azzurra Music at This Link!

GRADE: A

New Paintings by Mark Kostabi at Martin Lawrence Galleries

Kostabi Signage
All Art By Mark Kostabi. All Photos By Gail

Do you enjoy looking at the paintings of contemporary pop artist Mark Kostabi? I sure do. There are a few reasons why I never miss an opening reception for an exhibit of Mark’s work: not only is there a ton of great art to look at and talk about with other cool, art-loving people, but it is always a good party and a chance to, as it is sometimes referred to in the vernacular, “make the scene.” And I enjoy making the scene.

Kostabi Sculpture
I got a good shot of this sculpture, because no one else was in the gallery yet.

Just this past Thursday, I had a chance to make the scene at Mark’s current exhibit, which is going on at the Martin Lawrence Galleries on West Broadway — a very nice venue. Before I get to talking about the paintings, I want to point out how this artist reception differed from 99% of all other art openings. Please see visual documentation below.

Cheese Donuts

Look at all that cheese!

Cheese Donuts 2

Celebrity Photographer Derek Storm was overheard to say that these wheels of fine, spreadable soft cheeses reminded him of Donuts. Mmm…cheese donuts.

Cheese and Fruit Plate

So much free cheese was available — and also, wine! — it was pretty much the greatest art opening, ever. It looks like the cheese extravaganza was sponsored by a place called Castello Cheesemonger. Their cheese made me happy.

Now, on to the Art! A good number of Mark’s new paintings belong to series I made up in my head called “Barbie’s Happy Fun Day on Acid.” Get an idea of what I am talking about below.

Dancing Girl

Dancing Barbie on Acid.

Sleeping Person

Barbie Dreams of Being On Acid.

Full Length Mirror

Barbie’s Self-Reflection (On Acid).

Do you see what I mean? I love all these paintings. You can interpret them to mean what ever you want, really. Art!

Red and Black

The last time I saw this very beautiful painting, it was sitting on the floor of Mark’s studio, Kostabi World. Now, it is in a gallery and you can buy it!

Consumerism

I interpret the above painting to be a statement on consumerism and how it weighs you down like little men are hanging on to your legs.

I deliberately left the rack of chimes in that photo to remind me to mention that Mark is not only an amazing artist but also a gifted composer and wildly talented pianist. At the opening, Mark performed a few of his original compositions with his trio that includes Bassist Paul Nowniski and Drummer Keith LeBlanc. It was awesome.

Twister Sister

The painting above is called Twister Sister and it is of a lady (Acid Barbie, perhaps) playing a game of Twister on a Damien Hirst Spot Painting. I desire to own it.

Piano with Couple

This one is cool, because it goes from being in Black and White to being in Color — just like the Wizard of Oz!

Warhol Kostabi Basquiat

This is a photo from the ’80s of Mark with Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, in which the coolness factor is off the charts.

NYC Window

I love this one a lot, too.

Angel with Cat

And this one, of an Angel with her Cat. What is making that pink glow that you see leading down from the ladder? I want to find out.

Thoughtful Angel

This is definitely a must-see exhibit, so don’t miss it!

Martin Lawrence Galleries is located at 457 West Broadway (Between Houston and Prince) in Soho, NYC.

Kostabi Painting with Signature