Mark Kostabi was born from a family of Estonian immigrants in California, where he will remain for the first years of his life, in the town of Whittier. He studied drawing and painting at California State University. In 1982, he moved to New York and from 1984 became an important reference figure within the artistic movement of the East Village.
Since 1987 he has been recognized as an international artist, since his works have exhibited and requested by art galleries in Japan, United States, Australia and Germany. In 1988 he founded "Kostabi World": his studio, gallery, office in New York. Also thanks to the many assistants who works there, this studio produces about 1000 paintings per year, of which only a small part bears the signature of the master. Since1996 he has been dividing his life between New York and Rome, where he has become a model for many Italian artists.
In his paintings there are some constants, such as the references to other works and the representation of faceless subjects that recall the figures of De Chirico’s mannequins. In recent years he has dedicated himself to the design of advertising brands, such as Swatch watches, espresso cups, computer accessories and recently he has created the pink jersey of the Giro d'Italia. He has collaborated in painting with Enzo Cucchi, Arman, Howard Finster (in 1992), Tadanori Yokoo(in 1993) and Enrico Baj(in 1992). He has given interviews to CNN and the MTV channel, as well as to numerous magazines and weekly magazines such as: New York Times, People, Vogue, Playboy, Forbes, New York Magazine, Domus, Artforum, Art in America, Artnews Arts, Flash Art and Celestial Theme . The last interview was granted to Radio a New York with the well-known Italian presenter Tino Maiolo.
Mark Kostabi paints faceless, timeless figures that can be all of us and none of us. They express the fear of man inside the society, but also a universal language.
My goal has always been to create the most interesting art possible: my art should enrich the life of the observer, be it of a visitor who looks at my paintings in a museum, either of a collector who looks at a Kostabi for a long time at his house, both of a group of students reflecting on one of my ever-growing murals, performed for a public service, my images give joy, even if they tell stories of solitude, confusion and isolation ".