Every generation has a defining artist that pushes art culture forward and encapsulates the spirit of the times. Throughout history these visionary artists, Leonardo da Vinci, M.C. Esher, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, are able to create timeless art because of their ability to be avant-garde and incorporate innovative techniques, forcing society to engage with their works and people to reexamine their identity & life’s purpose.
In a modern world inundated with technology, all artists must grapple with our increasingly digital art world. Over the last decade, the internet and social media worlds have changed the technical as well as business possibilities for artists and entrepreneurs. Furthermore, as Web 3 innovations bring blockchain-enabled NFT technology into the marketplace, the art world is on the cusp of changing forever. While this novel technology presents great opportunities, it is also flooding the market with similar incentives – overemphasizing the digital aspect and leveling down creativity.
Coby Katz is an emerging artist disrupting the art world with his new original art movement, coined Stairism. He has a unique ability to make culturally poignant art for this generation and the ‘unborn’ generation. As a young visionary, Katz embraces the traditions of the historical greats as well as new digital & internet-enabled opportunities — from paintings and sculptures to digital prints, holograms, and NFTs. In a world where many new artists pursue digital art in place of painting or sculpting, Katz is intent on making a name for himself in the world of ‘traditional’ art while pushing the boundaries of digital art.
In addition to his visually and mentally stimulating art, Katz is a great artistic entrepreneur in the sense that he has many strategic creative collaborations with culturally significant figures and brands. At the incredibly young age of 23, Katz has already collaborated with Jeff Hamilton, legendary creator of custom leather jackets, at the ‘Step by Step Blvd’ event at La Gondola‘s 30th anniversary as well as with Julian Edelman, Go Puff, Retna, NTWRK, Scott Disick, Khloe Kardashian, Dixie D’Amelio, DeadMau5, and others.
Just as Pablo Picasso is the founder of Cubism, Coby Katz is the founder of Stairism. Stairism is a 21st Century avant-garde art movement utilizing stairs as a fresh way to conceptualize the mindset that people can achieve their goals by confronting life’s obstacles in a methodical, step-by-step process. Heavily influenced by architecture (his first love) and mathematics, Stairism draws specific inspiration from the Cubist and Expressionist movements. Further, Katz has a particular fondness for M.C. Esher as much of his work is inspired by Esher’s ‘Relativity’painting.
Creating art out of stairs, ladders, spirals, steps, or anything that takes someone from point A to point B, Katz creates art that has a micro and a macro meaning. Katz typically uses these stairs and ladders to create paintings of significant historical and contemporary figures who have faced adversity yet ultimately achieved their goals by continuing to climb the stairs along their paths of life. With a wide array of projects incorporating the Stairism style and philosophy, Katz wants the art consumer to analyze the macro piece – the well known historical figure or money (as an homage to Warhol) – as well as the micro piece – stairs or ladders inspiring the viewer to self-reflect on the importance of finding purpose through existence, based on the steps taken along life’s long journey.
Recently, Coby Katz partnered with Jeff Hamilton for the 30th anniversary of La Gondola. La Gondola is Los Angeles’s largest kosher restaurant and a staple in the city. For their 30th anniversary, La Gondola threw an incredibly successful and unique event called ‘Step by Step Blvd’ where 400-500 people all celebrated the wonderful occasion of the restaurant as if they were family. With exquisite food sponsored by La Gondola, bottles collaborated with Herzog Wine, alcohol sponsorships with Carbonadi, a DJ with a live saxophonist, and $9 million worth of luxury cars parked outside of the restaurant (provided by AME Lifestyle), partygoers were in a perfect environment to appreciate Katz’s artistic talent and his collaboration with Jeff Hamilton. Katz displayed his thought-provoking paintings (showing the originality of Stairism), digital prints & a 3D hologram in partnership with Americhip, as well as the new limited edition Coby Katz x Jeff Hamilton leather jacket.
Many people confided in Katz that they were not expecting to have such a profound personal experience looking at his art during the event. The jackets created between Katz and Hamilton were limited to 10 pieces and all sold out.
The story of how Katz recruited Hamilton for the event is representative of his creative and entrepreneurial mind. Jeff Hamilton is an icon in the fashion and art world, creating classic and avant-garde luxury leather jackets for decades. In fact, Hamilton was recently behind an exciting new collaboration with the NBA for their 75th anniversary. Katz knew that, like himself, Hamilton is a Jewish artist; Katz also knew that Hamilton only eats kosher meat and had even eaten at La Gondola in the past. Taking this great opportunity to connect with Hamilton over shared interests, Katz reached out. Upon researching Katz, Hamilton became an immediate fan of Katz’s style and agreed to collaborate. Talks of another show are already in the works.
Affectionately called the ‘mad artist’ by friends, Katz is known for taking risks, betting on himself, and innovating in style and form. True to self, the Brooklyn native plans to wrap up his two-year stint in Los Angeles in the coming months. As someone who relies on stairs, ladders, spirals, steps, and other means of transportation as a metaphor for the journey of life, Katz embodies his artistic philosophy. Katz believes it is integral to his creative process to continue to move around and have as many new experiences as possible. This is why the young artist plans to move to Miami in the coming months and to a new city every 1-2 years.
We are incredibly excited to see what the future has in store for Coby Katz as he carries on the Stairism movement and continues to explore new technologically enabled artistic opportunities. As the creator and pioneer of Stairism, someone who is not afraid to create art with innovative technology, and a brilliant cultural collaborator, the 23-year-old artist is well on his way to a storied artistic career. Follow his Instagram for more info.