George Condo

b. 1957 

Biography

George Condo (born 1957) is an American visual artist known for his work in painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking. He lives and works in New York City.

Born in Concord, New Hampshire, Condo studied art history and music theory at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. During his early years, he pursued guitar and music composition alongside his interest in painting and drawing. After two years at UMass Lowell, Condo moved to Boston, where he worked in a silk screen shop and joined the proto-synth/punk band The Girls as a bassist, alongside abstract painter Mark Dagley, avant-garde musician Daved Hild, and Robin Amos. Their only single, “Jeffrey I Hear You”/”Elephant Man” (1979), was produced by David Thomas of Pere Ubu. Condo met Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1979 when Basquiat’s band Gray opened for The Girls at the downtown nightclub Tier 3. This meeting prompted Condo to move to Ludlow Street in New York City to pursue his art career. He later became a founding member of the punk/blues band Hi Sheriffs of Blue in 1980.

In the early 1980s, Condo emerged in the East Village art scene and coined the term Artificial Realism to describe his hybridization of traditional European Old Master painting with an American pop sensibility. Alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, Condo played a significant role in the international revival of painting from the 1980s onward. His work has influenced many artists of his and subsequent generations, including Nigel Cooke, Sean Landers, John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage, and Glenn Brown.

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