Saturday, June 16, 2007

Posh, Mark and Rodney

I believe this photograph (photo credit : Tom Jamison) was taken in 1989 or so at a Mark Kostabi art opening in a Beverly Hills gallery (Martin Lawrence?). From left to right, we have scenester Rodney Bingenheimer, the singer Fontaine, painter Mark Kostabi wearing shades and yours truly, Robbie Fields wearing his beloved but long "borrowed by person unknown" 21 Jump Street crew jacket.

It was Rodney who demanded I drive in from my then home in Palm Desert to meet Mark.

6 years or so earlier, Kostabi had graciously allowed the group Gleaming Spires use of his striking painting "Bed of Nails" for the cover of their second album "Walk On Well Lighted Streets" released under my auspices on the PVC label. Since that time, Mark had moved from the suburbs of So. California to Manhattan and become one of the most talked and successful painters on the NY art scene. Mark has steadily built upon his early success and sells hundreds of his paintings each year.

He has also developed a significant career as a composer and pianist.

What is fascinating about Mark is how differently he is perceived in his 3 "homelands". In
New York where his art factory is located, he is a Page 6 celebrity. In Italy where he spends much of the year in his grand Rome apartment, he is a Painter and duly accorded respect.
In Estonia, whence his parents came, he is a national hero on account of his art and his repute as a serious music composer.

I have found Mark as a Type A personality refreshingly loyal. He has his eye both on Today and the long run of history. I am in awe of Mark's art, both his pictorial sense and his lyrical ability as a composer. As I have been fortunate to have been accepted within his inner circle of critics I am more often than not uttering candid criticism rather than gushing praise.

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