“Work first and think second.” Get advice from an artist who mixes American pop culture with references to art history – George Condo. In this short video he encourages his colleagues to embrace the freedom that comes with being an artist.
Condo advises young artists to look at a lot of art: “My experience was that the more you know about art, the more you look at art as a young artist, the more you see how great it is. And the more you feel how great it is, the more you feel like you want to be part of that greatness.”
“To learn how to do it, you can just start by doing it.” Artists shouldn’t overthink what they’re doing. There are no rules in art, and artists are in “one of those beautiful places in the world,” where they don’t have any restrictions, which is quite exceptional: “There isn’t a methodology that’s ever happened in art that was knocked down, if it was any good.”
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.
Camera: Jakob Solbakken
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017
Supported by Nordea-fonden