Andy Warhol’s use of silkscreens as a production method allowed him to make multiple identical prints of the same image very quickly. In this way, he completely revolutionized contemporary art and was uniquely responsible for elevating commercial imagery to the level of gallery work. Warhol’s bold and captivating image of Dracula, from his Myths Series, (1981) exists in a series of several hundred images, some of which were modified to look like the image below. These original Warhol’s were photographed by me at the Martin Lawrence Galleries on West Broadway in Manhattan. And they can be yours, if the price is right.
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.
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.
Look at all that cheese!
Celebrity Photographer Derek Storm was overheard to say that these wheels of fine, spreadable soft cheeses reminded him of Donuts. Mmm…cheese donuts.
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 Barbie on Acid.
Barbie Dreams of Being On Acid.
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!
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!
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.
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.
This one is cool, because it goes from being in Black and White to being in Color — just like the Wizard of Oz!
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.
I love this one a lot, too.
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.
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.
Pop Surrealism is a genre of painting that never gets tiresome for me. Connecticut based Artist Robert Deyber paints realist-style visual renderings of clichés, euphemisms and popular sayings or phrases, to create surreal, dreamlike tableaus that really take the viewer elsewhere. I love his work.
Despite his keen sense of humor and the visually absurd, Robert Deyber is a seriously skilled painter. Much like solving Rebus Puzzles, the fun in observing Deyber’s paintings is trying to deduce the title from the images on the canvas. Sometimes it’s really easy and obvious, and at other times quite confounding. You can even make a game of it with your friends!
Here are some of my favorites from Thursday night’s opening reception, where I had the chance to meet Robert, and he was very nice!
Martin Lawrence Galleries is located at 457 West Broadway (Between Houston and Prince) in Soho, NY.
I discovered the fun and thought provoking art of surrealist painter Robert Deyber just a few days ago, while I was at the Mark Kostabi exhibit at Martin Lawrence Galleries. Martin Lawrence also represents Deyber, and their basement gallery was filled with his clever images, which are literal visual representations of familiar, popular or mundane phrases or things such as “The Buck Stops Here,” “Bad Hair Day” or “Train of Thought.” I actually had to guess at the title of the painting above — which could be “Half a Heart or “Halfhearted” — because it wasn’t listed in the gallery and I could not find it online, so feel free to correct me if you are a Deyber fan who is familiar with this awesome painting.
Watch a cool short film on Deyber and his art at This Link.
All Art By Mark Kostabi, All Photos By Gail
Our first post-Sandy art excursion turned out to be the party of the week, as modern/contemporary painter Mark Kostabi debuted a series of colorful new works at the Martin Lawrence Galleries in Soho. The red wine flowed freely (more about that later) last evening, as the gallery quickly filled with friends and fans of Kostabi, all excited to see the artist’s latest series of visually engaging paintings done in his signature style. Geoffrey and I had a blast looking at all of Mark’s awesome art, chatting with Mark (who is quite generous with sharing his opinion that the Two G’s are the “Best Bloggers in New York” – which, true) meeting new art lovers and getting drunk for free.
Here are some photos I took last night with my new iPad!
Looking at the painting above, one fan was overheard commenting that it would be “really cool” if Kostabi would “Paint some faceless dogs playing poker,” which I thought was hilarious, but, Mark, if you are reading this review, how about it?
As an aside: I love how in this painting Mark references both art icons Piet Mondrian and The Guggenheim Museum, because that is how he rolls.
This is a picture I took of my spilled wine after I put it down on the floor so I could take a picture of the statue below, and Geoffrey kicked it over. Fortunately, the gallery employees were not angry, and no art was harmed in the spill.
I think I would also have a headache if little men, or “baby men,” whatever, were crawling all over me.
In this painting of a couple dancing, you can see Mark’s obvious stylistic references to Andy Warhol, who rules.
I believe it is safe to guess that this work was influenced by the late, great Keith Herring.
I wish my ass looked that good.
There is not much that I do not love about this painting.
Martin Lawrence Galleries is located in Soho at 457 West Broadway (just south of Houston) in NYC.