Competition Documentary Features
DIRECTED BY MICHAEL SLÁDEK
“Fame is love, and I need love,” declares artist (snake oil salesman?) Mark Kostabi. Welcome to Kostabi World where laborers paint by day, and Kostabi signs ‘em, sells ‘em, and parties every night. The talented son of Estonian immigrants, Kostabi rode the wave of ‘80s pop art culture, enjoying celebrity, sub-Warhol status. Relentlessly self-aggrandizing, Kostabi stops at nothing to sell his work. Here is the everyday carnival of it all, from the public access TV show where panelists (Gary Indiana!) compete to “name” his canvasses, to an embarrassing Yale seminar. While it’s easy to dismiss Kostabi as another fame junkie who has grabbed more than his allotted share, the film mines a seamier vein about the purveyors and consumers of art with a capital A: the dealers, the gallery scene, the auction houses, the poseurs. Who and what determines aesthetic value? Is the business of art about art at all? Or is it a joke—a frothy commodity—and to the best marketer go the spoils?
DIRECTED BY MICHAEL CROCE
USA, 2009, 11.5 MIN
What do you get when you distill 30 hours of film from hidden cameras in an Italian deli? A slice of human heaven.