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A fast-paced, stylish documentary, CON ARTIST explores the allure of fame through the experiences of one of its most outrageous addicts.
Artist Mark Kostabi rocketed to international fame and fortune during the art/punk/hip hop boom of the 1980s. Kostabi accomplished this feat through the use of a unique gimmick: He mass-produced, signed, and sold thousands of paintings each year that had been conceived and executed by a revolving stable of hired hands. Eventually, his brazen greed, overt self-promotion and outrageous behavior led to a remarkable fall from grace.
CON ARTIST highlights Mark’s incredible rollercoaster ride with fame and examines his current attempts to return to the limelight he so desperately craves.
From the heights of securing a high-profile commission from the Vatican to the lows of starring in a self-financed public access TV game show, Kostabi’s self-conscious schemes to return to the "A-list" make for a darkly comic fable.
“An entertaining reverie on the concept and addictive nature of celebrity.”
"An entertainingly satirical doc...that would seem utterly contrived if it were not true."
The Hollywood Reporter
“A captivating and hilarious portrait.”
"(An) entertaining documentary portrait of one of the art world’s most outrageous provocateurs."
The New York Times
"A lively portrait of the enfant terrible in middle age."
Los Angeles Times
“An entertaining boom-era fable.”
New York Magazine
"Michael Sladek's prickly documentary...gets at the pitiful need and loneliness that drives fame whores."
"A riveting documentary."
"This excellent documentary is almost as subversive as its subject."
Eye for Film UK
Tribeca Film Festival
Hamptons International Film Festival
Rome International Film Festival
Austin Film Festival
STARZ Denver Film Festival
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival
Florida Film Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
Berkshire Film Festival
Salem Film Festival
Flyover Film Festival
Produced by Plug Ugly Films.