Biography

Using collage to create what he calls “mutated characters” and “mutated scenes,” the Brooklyn-based street artist known as Bäst has been embellishing urban environments in New York and Europe with his wheat-pasted posters for more than 15 years. Inspired by early punk flyers, Bäst appropriates iconic images from 20th- and 21st-century mass culture, creating collages that mash up classic cartoon characters, fast food branding, and sex advertisements into biting satires of consumer culture. An integral part of the international street art scene, he is among the few artists to retain one of the first things to go with gallery recognition: anonymity. Refusing interviews, he claims only: “I go to sleep with a pizza on my chest. It’s embarrassing.” Such self-effacement belies a successful under- and above-ground career, with both solo projects and collaborative ones with the urban collective FAILE and the designer Marc Jacobs.x

Michael “Bäst” Polimeni (he/him) was born in Coney Island, New York in 1970. He lived in Brooklyn until his death in 2021, and spent many years working at nearby JFK Airport.



Solo Exhibitions

2017

  • New Works by Bast, Allouche Gallery, New York City, NY, United States

2013

  • Seafoam, New Works By Bast, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY, United States

2012

  • Gërms Tröpicana, Opera Gallery, New York City, NY, United States

2010

  • Botulism, Lazarides Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2009

  • Back To The Drawing Board: A New Look At Contemporary Drawing, Arin Contemporary Art, Laguna Beach, CA 

  • Beach Blanket Bingo - A Summer Mixer, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NY 

  • Grow Up,Lazarides Gallery, London (England) 

  • Get Rich Quick, Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art, Culver City, CA

2008

  • Aqua Art Miami, FL

2007

  • Devilwood, New Image Art Gallery, West Hollywood, CA, United States

2006

  • "Draw" Tour, Fuse Gallery, New York City, NY


Group Exhibitions

2023

  • Picasso, 50 ans déjà, l’Espace Culturel Marc Jacquet, Barbizon, France

  • Beyond the Streets London, The Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2022

  • UNTITLED: An Insight on US Art on Paper, Cellar contemporary, Trento, Italy

2018

  • Paper Trail, Allouche Gallery, New York City, NY, United States

  • Beyond the Streets, Werkartz, Los Angeles, CA, United States

2017

  • Stand Still-A Still Life Show, Allouche Gallery, New York City, NY, United States



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Artworks

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Simple guy, 2019

49 x 38 cm

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Smoking guy, 2019

28 x 40 cm

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Untitled 1,

57 x 84 cm

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Untitled 2,

57 x 84 cm

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Untitled 3, 2015

34 x 51 cm

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Journal

Events, Posted on 14/01/2020

CELLAR CONTEMPORARY AT BOLOGNA ART WEEK

by Camilla Nacci

With a booth at ARTEFIERA and two side exhibitions at BOOMing, Cellar Contemporary multiplies its presence in Bologna during the contemporary art week.

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Events, Posted on 10/10/2018

BÄST AND CELLAR CONTEMPORARY AT ARTVERONA

by CAMILLA NACCI

Cellar Contemporary will join the Raw Zone section of ArtVerona with the new artworks by Bäst

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Events, Posted on 20/06/2018

CELLAR CONTEMPORARY AT ARTE FORTE

by Camilla Nacci

For the second edition of of the show ARTE FORTE | Waiting for the moment, spread in ten Austro-Hungarian fortress of Trentino, Cellar Contemporary presents a new series of Bäst works and starts a new collaboration with Denis Riva.

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Events, Posted on 19/12/2017

AN UNDER/ABOVE OPENING

by Camilla Nacci

After a year from its opening, Cellar celebrates the faceless artist of NYC, Bäst, inaugurating his first solo exhibition Under/Above, on display at the gallery until February 2018.

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