Born in 1957, contemporary American artist George Condo is primarily known for his painting, his drawing, his sculpture and his fine printmaking. This highly accomplished visual artist was born in New Hampshire, but he currently lives and works in the artistic haven of New York City.
George Condo has accomplished great things in the art world, but he has also passed on his talent, and his love of the arts, on to the next generation. Both of his daughters are accomplished artists in their own rights - daughter Eleonore is an actress, and her sister Raphaelle is currently a music major.
From the start, George Condo showed a strong interest in, and an exceptional talent for, art in all its forms. After a childhood spent exploring his artistic interests, George Condo went on to study at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, where he majored in Art History and Music Theory.
Always an avid guitar player, George Condo also created his own compositions while exploring his passion for painting and drawing. After two years of schooling at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, George Condo moved to Boston, working in a screen shop and performing in a punk band called the girls.
It was during his time with the synth-punk band that he met an abstract painter by the name of Mark Dagley, as well as Dave Hild, an accomplished avant-garde musician.
The Girls had only one single, but George Condo maintained his love of music even while he pursued a career in painting and drawing. His connections in the world of music would eventually lead him to New York City, where he flourished in the city's famed art world.
By the early 1980s, George Condo was already an integral part of the art scene in the East Village, and he had coined a new term - Artificial Realism - to describe a new way of painting and drawing that was then emerging.
Artificial Realism was devoted to the painstakingly realistic representation of artificial objects, a sensibility often associated with other movements, most notably American Pop. Other contemporary artists, including Keith Haring and Michel Basquiet, were also part of these new movements, and they found great success in the New York City art scene of the time.
George Condo enjoyed a strong following in the East Village art scene, and he soon began exhibiting his creations in various art galleries around town. From 1981 through 1983, George Condo launched a number of different gallery shows, but he also notably worked at The Factory, the space made famous by artist and icon Andy Warhol.
Many of the works George Condo exhibited at The Factory were silkscreen creations, works that were designed by applying diamond dust to pieces in the Myths series of Warhol paintings. George Condo would later move to the West Coast for a brief period, working in Los Angeles and exhibiting at the Ulrike Kantor Gallery there.
Upon his return to New York City, George Condo visited Europe for the first time, eventually moving to Cologne, Germany. While there, the young artists worked with a number of artists, including Jiri Georg Dokoupil and Walter Dahn of the Milheimer Freiheit Group.
It was during this time that George Condo also started work with fellow American Barbara Gladstone, a noted art dealer. In 1984, George Condo launched a simultaneous art exhibition in two galleries - the Pat Hearn Gallery in New York and the Barbara Gladstone Galleries.
George Condo created some of his most notable works of art during this time period, including Dancing to Miles, a work that was eventually included in the Biennial Celebration at the Whitney Museum in New York City. While he was enjoying some success in the art world, George Condo was still mainly living and working in various hotels and rented studio spaces, moving between Paris and New York City while creating his pieces. It was during this time that George Condo met American artist and writer Brion Gysin, and it was Gysin who later introduced Condo to iconic writer William S. Burroughs.
George Condo and William S. Burroughs would go on to collaborate on a number of different paintings and sculptures, all completed between 1988 and 1996. Some of these collaborative works were later exhibited at the Pat Hearn Gallery in 1997, and a later collaboration, a collection of etchings and writings called Ghost of a Chance, was published by the Whitney Museum in New York City.
From collaborations with noted writers to the founding of the new Artificial Realism movement, George Condo has changed the art world in many different ways. Even today, his artwork remains highly collectible, and his most notable pieces can be found in high-end art galleries and famous museums around the world.
The Manhattan Strip Club, 2010
acrylic, charcoal and pastel on canvas
75 x 95 inches