The Artist Who Added To Kanyes Aesthetic
George Condo (American, b.1957) is a Contemporary visual artist who creates paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints. His work has influenced a whole generation of artists. Condo attended the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, where he studied art history and music theory. He moved to Boston after two years of college and worked in a silkscreen shop, then joined a band called The Girls with Abstract painter Mark Dagley. While in the band, Condo met Jean-Michel Basquiat, and this meeting prompted Condo to move to New York and seriously pursue a career as an artist.
Condo’s first public exhibitions were held in East Village galleries between 1981 and 1983. It was also during this time that he worked in Andy Warhol’s factory, applying gold dust to Warhol’s Myths series. In 1983, Condo moved to Los Angeles, and had his first solo exhibition at Ulrike Kantor Gallery. He then moved to Germany and worked with the Mulheimer Freiheit group. His first European solo exhibition was in 1984 at Monika Sprueth Gallery. One of Condo’s most famous works, The Cloudmaker, debuted at this exhibition.
While in Europe, Condo met Barbara Gladstone, and later, in 1984, had a two-gallery exhibition in New York at Pat Hearn Gallery and Gladstone Gallery. Condo also met and forged a friendship with Keith Haring, and produced several of his works during this period, including Dancing to Miles, which was included in the 1987 Whitney Biennial, and was completed in Haring’s studio. One of Condo’s greatest collaborative partners was William S. Burroughs. The two worked together on many paintings and sculptures between 1988 and 1996, and some of these works were exhibited at Pat Hearn Gallery in New York. They completed a series of writings and etchings titled Ghost of Chance, which was published by the Whitney Museum in 1991.
Condo is also well-known for book and album cover art. He provided the cover art for Jack Kerouac’s Book of Sketches, and did the album cover for Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. He also worked on album art for Danny Elfman. Condo has had exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, the Musee Maillol in Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Stalliche Kunthstalle Baden-Baden in Germany, and the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, NY. Condo currently works and resides in New York, and is represented by Sprüth Magers, the Skarstedt Gallery in New York, and the Simon Lee gallery in London.