There’s an obvious sensual “stoutness” when it comes to the work of public figure and art celebrity Marko Stout. Glitz and glam, allure and lustrous appeal are what come to mind when attempting to describe his work. At the upper Westside gallery space, the pieces are beautifully colorfully coordinated. Dripping lips speak volumes, models in black and white pose in exposés like an editorial out of Vogue. Close ups of physiognomically flawless models are visually captivating, vividly capturing tantalizing looks. On a screen are two beautiful vixens in an intense make out session. Overall, the pieces have an eroticism to them but tastefully not overplayed. Marko, the master behind the work has an artistic luster that gives his art the foundation and character necessary to convey a message that flirts with the future of what art embodies.
You went to Princeton. Was art your major? Did you always know this would be the path you would follow?
I majored in evolutionary biology, no idea why, just needed to pick something at the time… it’s kind of hard to know what you really want to do with your life at 18. I think everyone should try a few different careers in life… keeps things interesting and fresh.
Tell me about the early stages of how you became an artist.
I was living on a houseboat outside San Francisco and hangout drinking wine and smoking weed with a friend who owned an art gallery in the area- he actually was to be a roadie for the Grateful Dead in the 70s. Anyway, he got me into painting and even sold some of my works in his gallery. So that really got me interested in art professionally, as a career.
What inspired you to choose the style of “erotic” art as opposed to classical?
There’s certainly sexual elements to many of the pieces, but I really wouldn‘t say my work is erotic art. I don’t like classifications it seems way too limiting. I saw on Wikipedia that they called my style “industrial pop”. I’m not sure what that is, but I kind of like that term.
How do you choose the models you work with? Any famous ones?
Many are friends of models I worked with in the past or met at parties or just while hanging out. Some of the models have become famous in the fashion world and one is actually actor very popular in cult horror movies- she’s died all kinds of ways on film.
How would you say you decipher good art from mediocre/bad art?
Not really sure- but, you know good art when you see it. It should be something with deep meaning and not just some decorative work for corporate offices or a suburban living room. I really hate boring art that tries to pass off as abstract expressionism or even pop but is in fact devoid of meaning- people buy it because it matches their décor or color scheme…. How lame.
How did you establish yourself in the art world and what was that process like?
I did a lot of those group type shows early on- you know, ones like ArtExpo, Armory Show, Basel and a ton of others. Eventually I was offered a solo show at Rivington Gallery, then a show at Jason Sameul Gallery in Miami- and more New York shows at Sepia Gallery, Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, Artifact and the most recent was the Gallery MC.
Who are some artists you look up to who inspire you?
All kinds of art. I really admire Andy Warhol, he took things in a different direction and opened up what art could be. Really gave Americans their own style and voice in the art world. Lately been getting into the photographer Miron Zownir- I like his nonjudgmental approach to his subjects. Very interesting stuff… you should check out his “RIP NYC” series- very cool.
What are your next steps for your gallery and your identity as an artist?
I’m currently planning upcoming shows in Miami and Paris. And another solo show at a galley here in Chelsea this fall. Also, working on a fashion line that will incorporate some of my art arts… we’re planning a runway show during New York’s Fashion Week in September this year.