BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — An iconic Buffalonian has died after what friends say was a “brave battle with cancer”. Mark Corsi is being remembered for his "Poster Art" work and Elwmood Village shop.
His artwork spans more than three decades is being remembered. Mark Corsi, owner of Poster Art in the Elmwood Village died Wednesday in Hospice after battling cancer.
The voice of 61-year-old Corsi can still be heard on his Poster Art business phone.
“You have reached Poster Art. Due to unforeseen health issues….Poster Art will have new store hours,” stated Corsi.
It only took moments after arriving at his two store fronts at Elwmood and Bird to see an outpouring of support that is beginning. People were dropping off flowers and placed a big red paper heart on the door.
Then a family member arrived. Corsi’s cousin Henry Schmidt arrived to play a Welsh hymn on his bagpipe in front of the stores.
It was during Corsi's illness that Schmidt says the family learned more about Mark's love for his community.
“And you know we found more and more out as people came to see him and everything. The stories about how Mark would go and help people, do things like that. He was amazing,” Schmidt said.
For more than 30-years Corsi held court the buildings with his famous poster art for Buffalo along with his merchandise and t-shirts.
Everyone who Corsi knew affectionately called him "Bro" and he will call them "Bro".
James Gillan met him 30-years ago when he arrived from California, quickly learning about Corsi's talents and helping others.
“Mark truly cared about everything and he hated any kind of cruelty and his whole house was rescue cats and rescue fish and just the way he helped people,” remarked Gillan.
Corsi's friend of 40-plus years, photographer Joe Cascio worked with him closely, even wearing one of his designs.
“This image – very familiar and what other one that’s your favorite that stood out to you that he’s done?” Buckley asked.
“Most of them were just a pretty simple bison standing bison, but the one thing, and I’m going to turn around really quick, that he started to add a while back was this this tag line – ‘a cool place to live’,” Cascio replied.
A cool place to live - because Corsi never gave up on his beloved Buffalo, but now his best friend says the corner of Elmwood and Bird may never be the same.
“It’s a pretty massive hole to try to fill. I don’t know if it will ever be filled – lot of great memories right here,” responded Cascio.
But he was a renaissance man. Corsi was also worked with musicians during Buffalo's punk rock scene at the former Continental bar on Franklin Street that was well-known for bands in the 80's and 90's. Corsi was the co-founder Closet Punk Production's in which he brought big name, national acts during the early 1980's to Buffalo, including Billy Idol.
7 Eyewitness News senior reporter Eileen Buckley reached out to the Goo Goo Doll’s Robby Takac for comment to Corsi's death.
Takac, who responded while on an airplane, wrote in a text “he was definitely one of the pioneers of Buffalo’s punk rock scene, such a shame.”
“He was an icon of the Buffalo alternative scene in the early 80s, along with his love for music and art, which spring boarded him into Poster Art," said
Dan Cappellazo, long-time friend.
Cappellazo says Corsi had a huge passion for "everything Buffalo."
Corsi was the owner of Poster Art in the heart of the Elwmood Village, 1055 Elmwood Avenue
You would quickly recognize his work of many famous Buffalo poster art and designs for tee-shirts and hats. His work can be seen at his website, Post Art USA.