Mark Kostabi at a “Kosthappening,” signed and stamped photo, 1985

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Lot includes photograph in matte and related party invitation.

Baird Jones, “Mark Kostabi and Friends at a Kosthappening,” 1985. Vintage photograph, embellished with rubber stamps and gold felt pen markings (by Kostabi?); in original mat, signed and dated by Jones and Kostabi with additional markings. Photograph: 7½” x 9¾”. Mat: 11½” x 13¾”.

“Kosthappening” invitation, 1988. Print on paper, 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″.

Mark Kostabi was one of the most successful artists of the 1980s East Village: a ubiquitous presence in nightclubs and storefront galleries, known for glib aphorisms like the ones rubber-stamped on this photograph. In 1985, Baird began playfully stalking Kostabi as he cavorted with the famous and not-so-famous at openings and parties. The resulting photographs were exhibited at gallery events called “Kosthappenings,” where gallery-goers could also interact (and get photographed) with Kostabi. This photo shows Kostabi at a Kosthappening, with other similarly matted photos on the walls; it was exhibited the following year at a Kosthappening at Ground Zero Gallery, where it can be seen in a photograph on page 102 of Baird’s Mark Kostabi and the East Village Scene.

Baird Jones, Mark Kostabi and friends at a Kosthappening, 1985

Baird Jones photograph of Mark Kostabi at a Kosthappening, 1985


Invitation to a “Kosthappening” at Shout!, 1988


Baird Jones Mark Kostabi


The Anomalous Baird Jones (1955–2008)

Few people personify the free-wheeling, polymorphous spirit of fin-de-siècle downtown New York as well as the idiosyncratic curator, club party promoter, photographer, author, and celebrity gossip Baird Jones.