Huge crowds now rap around the block to see the latest artworks of Marko Stout and have a chance to meet the artist and his models. After his most recent sold-out solo video installation at New York’s famed Tribeca Gallery, it seems Marko Stout is all over New York City these days. He’s been seen attending many high-profile social events, and fashion shows, having serval sold-out exhibitions with his video installations, sculptures, and famous urban metal prints. He has become so active and has so many fans and celebrity collectors that many in New York society and the art world are calling Marko Stout the next Andy Warhol. In a YouTube video, the Kardashians say, “we’re very excited about Marko Stout’s Exhibition” and RuPaul said, “Marko Stout is full of charisma, nerve, uniqueness, and talent!” The artist’s other fans include Snooki, Vince Neil, and Justin Bieber. We had a chance to ask Marko Stout a few questions after his “Erotic Allure Volume 3” exhibition at the Tribeca Gallery.
Many people in the art world and New York are calling you the “next Andy Warhol”. Do you like this comparison?
Marko Stout: No. I sort of do my own thing. No Campbell soup cans. But I guess if they’re going to compare me to some of Andy Warhol is a good one.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you think inspired you to be an artist?
Marko Stout: I grew up in a small working-class town on the Jersey Shore, so art was never really talked about, and certainly as a career was never an option. I remember seeing Andy Warhol on TV and thinking this guy is really different, very interesting and he hangs around with so many cool people- nothing like the people I grew up around. How did he do that? I also remember John (Lennon) and Yoko (Ono) interviews and I thought they were just the coolest people on the planet, and I would love to hang out with them- and how coincidently I actually live around the corner from Yoko and see on the street her every now and again.
Where do you usually do your work?
Marko Stout: I live in New York City and spend most of my time here, so that’s where I draw impressions, meet my models and have my largest following of fans. There’s always something new happening here every day and it’s very reflective of our times and culture in general, so that helps me stay very relevant as a contemporary artist.
You have fans and you have favorite models. You make an accent of eyes and faces. What do the faces tell you and what do you try to show us through those faces?
Marko Stout: Many of my models have a similar look or vibe, and that’s just my style. But, every model, every face is a bit different, so the story is different every time. I try to work with interesting people and that keeps my work interesting and ultimately tells a relevant narrative. I avoid ordinary uninspiring people, that would certainly make my pieces boring.
How long does it take you to take on a new idea you build the exhibition around?
Marko Stout: I’ve always embraced procrastination. I like to party and have fun, and then work intensely right before the deadline. My college years were filled with late-night cramming for tests and I suspect that habit has carried over into my professional life. It works well for me, but I’m always observing my surroundings and taking mental notes of the sort which I usually draw on when the time comes to create the actual works, so in that sense my work is continual.
What do you do when the model does not feel the character you want her to be?
Marko Stout: Usually that’s never really a problem. Most of my models tend to be on the same page as me and feel what I’m going for. Often some interesting music helps to set the mood, I like the Velvet Underground, sort of channels Warhol’s spirit and gets things going. And sometimes a little wine and weed are involved.
What are your future plans, please?
Marko Stout: I’m really very busy now and the next few years are already filled with more solo exhibitions here in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Berlin, and talking with other galleries both in the US and Europe. Also, working with a local New York designer who’s incorporating my images into limited edition jackets and his upcoming clothing line. And, I what to produce some longer art films with a bit of character development, maybe 45 minutes or so, not just the shorts I’ve done in the past. I have some very cool and interesting ideas and my models are eager to participate in the films. Also, working on some newer large-size sculpture works and installation-type projects. So, yes very busy!
Marko Stout’s work is an immortalization of pop glamour; a snapshot of those rare epiphanous vibrant moments when our realities can bleed color and juxtaposition. It stretches beyond the encapsulation of aesthetics and extends to an offering of meaning and an extension of culture. The urban landscapes and the people who find rapture in the abstraction of monotony are deftly depicted in the images which violently flip narratives of the human condition.