An interview with George Condo conducted 2017 May 5 and June 20, by Christopher Lyon, for the Archives of American Art, at Condo's studio in New York, New York.
Condo speaks of his childhood and adolescence in New England; his Italian grandparents and heritage; his early obsession with drawing; the mathematical dimension of his mind; his Catholic upbringing and its influence on his art; exposure to literature, art, and music through his family; his decision to pursue visual art rather than music; the influence of jazz on his approach to making art; his understanding of tradition and originality; the influence of a wide range of literature on his approach to making art; dropping out of Mass College of Art; playing in a Boston punk rock band called The Girls in the late 1970s; moving to New York in 1981; working on Andy Warhol's silk-screening assembly line; moving to Los Angeles in 1982; being shown in Ulrike Kantor's gallery with Roger Herman's help; formative trips to Europe in the 1980s; important romantic relationships; changes in the New York art world in the 1990s; developing the concept of Artificial Realism; and his appreciation for the old masters of painting. Condo also recalls Dawn Clements, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Devo, Mark Dagley, Rupert Smith, Fred Hughes, Susan Tyrrell, Gene Kelly, Willoughby Sharp, Walter Dahn, Bruno Bischofberger, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
George Condo (1957- ) is a contemporary visual artist working in New York, New York. Christopher Lyon (1949- ) is a publisher and writer in Brooklyn, New York.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.