George Condo: Artist Portrait

George Condo

Born 1957.

Works by George Condo at Sotheby's

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George Condo Biography

The work of George Condo is populated largely by dramatically stylized, almost cartoonish, characters with exaggerated, often grotesque features such as protruding over or under bites, ghoulish expressions, or is fractured nearly beyond recognition. Born in Concord, New Hampshire, in 1957, Condo studied art history and music theory at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. In the late 1970s, he was a member of a band called The Girls, and while playing a show in New York City he met fellow artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; it would be Basquiat who would convince Condo to relocate to New York to further develop his career in art. By the early 1980s, Condo would become a recognized figure within the East Village art scene, even spending a brief time working in Andy Warhol’s Factory.

Through his experiences in New York, and his previous academic endeavors, Condo maintained a deep interest in art history, and drew much of his inspiration from historical antecedents. In 1985 he furthered his art historical understanding by moving to Paris, France, where he lived for a decade. He has described his artistic style as “psychological Cubism,” and much of his paintings evoke the work of such artists as Willem de Kooning and Pablo Picasso. His influence can be traced to numerous younger artists working today, such as John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, and even artists working outside the realm of visual art – he collaborated with Kanye West on the cover art for the 2010 album Twisted Fantasy.

In 2017, Condo’s works on paper were the focus of a retrospective at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and, previously, he was the subject of a major career retrospective at the New Museum in New York City. Museums worldwide count Condo’s work as part of their collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Tate Modern, London; and the Museo Jumex, Mexico City. He is currently based in New York City.

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