Mark Kostabi – Title This Painting

A friend just let me know about a strange little online program called Title This by the artist Mark Kostabi. Kostabi hosts the show and invites art critics and celebrities on to title his paintings. The person that comes up with the best title for the painting wins cash.

Mark Kostabi Painting
Title This can be viewed online Here. See Mark Kostabi’s website here.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. It is hard sometimes to title paintings – I should also use that trick maybe…

  2. Looks like a lot of effort just to title your paintings Siret.

    I usually just call an apple an apple, but people have also said my titles are boring.

  3. Looks like a PR stunt to us, pretty much the same thing he was relying on in the ninties then…

  4. As a self important art critic myself I’d like to enter. I have three offerings. Crap, Total Crap and Crap with a red ball. I look forward to recieving my cash prize as soon as possible. For his next stunt he could ask us to guess the price and/or value of the work. My entry for that competition is $10,000 and $1 respectively but perhaps I’m guessing too much for both?

    Of course we all know the show and web site are the real pieces of art or circus act and pr campaign if only we knew the difference.

  5. Earl’s not far off. Gimmicks to drive up interest in the work are kinda despicable/pathetic

  6. You should visit his website and check out the “Advice column” link

    it’s hilarious, and I can’t understand why some people don’t get how funny Kostabi really is…I mean a guy who releases a record of his own piano music titled “I did it Steinway”

  7. Kostabi is certainly trying to be a clown but that makes him a circus artist. As for me I prefer jugglers and funny clowns … George Bush for instance.. now there’s a funny man… he has me in stitches… and many of his countrymen. His predecessor Clinton was a good sax player. I wonder how Obama will entertain us. Can he paint or play the piano? If not he could team up with Kostabi for a double act in the big top… sure to be a real hoot or perhpas I mean yawn? Bring on the jugglers… they are artists too!

  8. Don’t be so hard, “Earl”… one day they’ll appreciate your big abstract exprssionist canvases and you can get off that bitter tip.

  9. I would like to see you go on the Kostabi show Earl. You would probably win all the prizes.

    Just keep mixing the word Crap with a few other descriptive words like “painting” and “excuse for art” and you’ll win all the

    He does seem to have a sense of humor, so he would probably find it entertaining.

  10. “dam I don’t have a penis”

  11. Kostabi no longer paints his own paintings, but for several years has hired a group of young people to do the actual painting. He supplies ideas and the actual technique he uses. His work is well known as he repeats the same image in every painting, and most of his work are illustrations of the same faceless figure generally painted in gray tones.
    He is a celebrity in terms of selling his work as a comodity and not as fine art. He basically is a business man who really has no interest in art beyond the same figures his studio paints for him.

  12. As a title for the painting Corrine?

    I couldnt figure out what you meant for a

    Anon, I think he was also selling paintings on an Italian shopping channel if I remember rightly.

    Some days I hate art being treated like a product, but others days I admire the business people pretending to be artists. It’s all good.. life is good.

  13. Art News Blog …You have it back to front. It’s not art being treated as a product that you should hate …it’s products being treated as art thats the problem. I don’t mind fine artists making loads of money but sadly it’s mostly the con artists that are loaded with cash. True there are and have been many good and very good con artists about who can be admired for their excellent connery skills.

    Every field of human endeavour appears to have the real thing and the con thing. For example the field of soft drinks has coke (real) and virgin cola (con), girls toys has barbie dolls (real)- cindy dolls (con), the field of booze has English beer – aussie larger, and of course scotch whisky – jack danials, field of finance has swiss banks – US banks, politics has Obamma – Bush, and art news blog has everyone elses opinions – my views on art… or have i got that back to front…
    As for your claim “life is good” I would like to agree but feel I should not jump to hasty conclusions having not yet tried the alternative. You appear quite certain of your claim and I wonder if you have some special insight gained during your recent absence from the blog? Are you in fact … a ghost?

  14. One thing we have not considered is that the joke could be on us/the buyers. Could it be that Kostabi is actually a performance artist engaged in a decades-long piece? That there will be a major “exhibition” some time in the future when he finally says “gotcha”?

    If the titles of my works of 3D Pop Art are obvious, it’s because I want them that way. I want the piece to be what it is, without the cruft of obscurantist titles.

  15. Sounds to me like he’s just lazy, getting other people to do all the work. He can’t even title them himself.

  16. Call it “Kostabi Interns After Painting The Show”

  17. Wait, is this the guy that has prints in the Sky Mall magazines found on planes?

  18. Anon, youre probably right, I may have it back to front. It’s hard to tell though.

    And I came to the conclusion that life is good as the alternative is impossible to live with. I wouldn’t see any point in living if I thought that life was anything but good, so I’m sure of my claim that life is good because I keep waking up. Not every day is cloudless, but every day is appreciated and I want more of them.

    Also, I’m not sure if I’m a ghost. I do look a bit pale at the moment.. so who knows.

    Brian, I’m not sure if he sells in Sky Mall magazines. It wouldnt surprise me though.

  19. Happy New Year

  20. Anonymous says:

    How about “Personal Recession” or as the title !! — Saaim,1609 Broadway,NY, NY 10019

  21. Anonymous says:

    ” personal Recession”

  22. Mark Kostabi says:

    Hi everybody, I know I’m a little late as this was posted in 2008 but I just found this dialogue now, on January 2, 2010. Thanks for all the debate about my activities. From my point of view, Title This is presently only about 2% used for publicity. I’m not opposed to using it for publicity and hopefully in the future it will be more valuable that way. Mainly I do it because I really want great titles for my artworks and it’s interesting and fun to involve many of the greatest minds and wordsmiths who live in, or pass through, New York. It’s also a nice and unexpected way to generate art and culture dialogue. Plus we’ve had some great musicians on, like Ornette Coleman, Suzanne Vega, Tommy Ramone and Glen Matlock.
    Mark Kostabi

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