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Mark Kostabi on His Assistants, Facebook Minions and Justin “Sinatra” Bieber

10.10.12 Marina Galperina

With all the ranting we’ve done about “art elves” and the lives and strifes or professional artists’ assistants, it was weirdly refreshing for Mark Kostabi — notorious for outsourcing parts of his creative practice — to let ANIMAL inside Kostabi World in Chelsea.

But first, there was a screening of yet another bio-doc on the artist at the Anthology Film Archives. Sabrina Digregorio’s Full Circle: The Kostabi Story is a contrast to Con Artist which focused on the more bombastic, unabashed and entertaining self-curated persona of Kostabi the “Wildman.” Full Circle presents a mature Kostabi, along with a throng of critics and admirers to comment on his actual body of work and its contexts. And comment. And comment. It also quite explicitly shows how the New York and Rome-based artist collaborates with his 7-10 people team of assistants, how he distributes labor and the necessary camaraderie.

After the screening, ANIMAL headed to his studio in Chelsea and met some of the assistants and saw the natural habitat of his workshop, sans all the myths. Here’s your look inside Kostabi World.

And, naturally, we also asked why there were some many Rihannas and Biebers… everywhere.