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The mind of American artist George Condo has been referred to as a place where “Picasso meets Looney Tunes.” Watch him at work in his New York-studio where he draws and paints his take on a 19th century painting by Manet. 

“It’s such a mad, crazy world these days, that everybody I draw is kind of a lunatic,” says Condo as he draws “the nude bus driver” with a drink and a woman, who serves as “a nice contrast to the lunatic.”

George Condo (b. 1957) is an American contemporary visual artist working in the mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. Condo mixes input from art history’s masters – such as Velasquez, Manet and Picasso – with elements of American Pop Art. He distorts and renews this material so that it stands out and becomes his own: a kind of strange hybrid that blurs boundaries between the comic and the tragic, the grotesque and the beautiful, the classic and the innovative. As part of the wild art scene in New York in the early 1980s, Condo was close to painters such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and worked for Andy Warhol’s Factory, applying diamond dust to silkscreen. Condo’s work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Whitney Museum, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, Tate Gallery in London, Centre George Pompidou in Paris and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, among others. He is the recipient of an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1999) and the Francis J. Greenberger Award (2005). Condo lives and works in New York City.

George Condo was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at his studio in Soho, New York City in September 2017.

The drawing that Condo makes is ‘The Bus Driver’s Dream’ (2017). The painting that he refers to at the end of the video is ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe’, originally titled ‘Le Bain’ (The Bath) (1962-1863) by French painter Édouard Manet.

Camera: Jakob Solbakken   

Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg  

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017

Supported by Nordea-fonden 

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