"Hopefully the economy will start to be on the upside a little bit," Christopher Makos says in a slow, deliberate tone. "Soon as we go to war... so that Americans can drive their big, gas-guzzling SUVs so they can protect their princesses and their children. Those are really good things to go to war for. So you can have lots of gas for your SUV."
Although the economy is in a tailspin, Makos has been largely unaffected. One might expect an artist to be hit harder than anyone by a nasty recession. After all, as soon as money gets tight, people suddenly find themselves more interested in buying groceries than in patronizing artists. But Makos is a cut above most artists. He has reached that rare plateau where it just doesn't matter how bad the economy gets.
"The people that spend money on my art are not the ones who cut back on their budgets, so it's not really a problem," he asserts. "If it amuses you and you want it and you have the money, people just buy it. If instead of having $5 million, they only have $3.5 million, that's not really going to put a crimp in their budget."
Among the work sought after by Makos' clientele is a collection of photos depicting Andy Warhol in drag.
"The Andy stuff is sort of the bait and switch," Makos admits. "Everybody wants to hear about Andy Warhol, of course. He's a curious subject matter. But I really want to show my digital prints. HP, the printer company, is in charge of all my new digital prints. They'd been wanting to get into the whole art thing, so we had a conversation, and it turned out to be a great marriage between HP and me. It's like having a whole photo lab in a box with these HP printers."
Makos seems thoroughly dismissive of the idea that corporate sponsorship of art may be artistically questionable.
"HP gets to be associated with a well-known artist/photographer; I get to be associated with a big corporate situation," he says. "This marriage between art and commerce works. I learned that very early on in my association with Warhol. Money is not a dirty word."