Contemporary is a widely used term nowadays. And Art has been there with us for centuries now. When you put the two words together; contemporary art, the first person that comes to mind is George Condo. Ideally, we see top-notch engineers or financial analysts becoming multimillionaires. But this time, the world sees a new millionaire from a whole new field.
At the beginning
Studying art history and music theory during college, made Condo follow his passion. He pursued his career as an artist after several tries in silkscreen, music band, and abstract painter. His work has become an inspiration to many of his generation. And following generations too. His contextualizing of artificial realism caught the eyes of many. In fact, his habit of reviving old paintings became a worldwide inspiration.
Rise to fame
George Condo became renowned for his work in New York’s East Village. But today’s generation recognizes him as the creator of Kanye West’s 2010 album. His work on the album “My beautiful dark twisted fantasy” is very psychological. It is so to the point of the title that the album is banned in some countries.
Condo‘s work is mostly a collage of characters. Bulging noses, huge eyes, proliferating limbs are the mark of his paintings. He draws his inspiration from artists such as Picasso, Diego Velazquez, and Henri Matisse. His mix of European Old Master style with a pinch of American pop is what caught the eyes of many.
His figurative paintings became a hit in the ’80s which got him holding exhibitions and art galleries. The exhibition was held from 1981 till 1983. After which a lot of his pieces were bought at high prices during auctions. From then on, most of his pieces started selling out on auctions too.
From 2008 onwards, the minimum price for his artwork bidder was $80,000. Now, imagine an $80,000 bid 12 years ago. The present value of that is what made him a millionaire.
Increase value in the Market
The demand in the market for paintings of Picasso, Willem de cooning, and other fantabulous artists went up. Well, it still is. Since the marker is a part of an economy, the demand and supply had to be balanced. Then came in the Condo with his illusionary paintings. It was not a settlement that people made. It was just that his work, as some people call it “weird” started getting accepted.
For someone who does not understand odd-shaped figures and colors, Condo’s paintings are not for them. Asia, Europe, and the United States in large became fans of oddness. It became a symbol for accepting “out of the ordinary”. For many youngsters, it spoke volumes when they could connect to the contrast and variance of his paintings.
Each work is an abstract work. But in reality, it is a carefully structured abstract work. Now you may feel this to be contradicting. But it is the truth. Otherwise for Condo to maintain such a pattern for over 40 years would not have been possible. Even the biggest artists face some frowns when they change just a percent of their pattern.
The current generation finds his work on Kanye West’s albums and Kim Kardashian’s bags. He was hired as their personal designer. In fact, a film was also directed by John McNaughton on his oil paintings.
All this increased the demand for his work, hence balancing the art market. But this worked out for Condo in making him the most wanted artist. To
To top it off, since then all his pieces have been sold out during each exhibition.
Some of his earlier works are Nude in the landscape, Dreamscape, and American Cancer. His most wanted ones are:-
- Spanish Head composition
- The Italian Women
- Fallen Butler
- Nude Homeless Drinker
- Mad Priest
Each of these pieces is priced from $400,000. During auctions, the price rises up to 1.5 million or more.
He also collaborated with various artists such as Andy Warhol, John Currin, and Lisa Yuskavage. When these artists recommended him, his fame increased.
Life right now
Nowadays you will find George Condo delving deeper into unusual paintings. This may be because of his recent near-death experience. Well, whether it is true or not that a tragedy changes a person, there are certain changes in his work. The condo has not stepped out of his line of work. But has definitely become an artist of emotions. As said before, the change in unusualness of his work may be a compilation of his emotions faced during his tragedy.
He has definitely faced criticism throughout. But that never scraped this huge sphere of pride for his work or passion. This multimillionaire has become one among many to show that with passion and integrity, anything can be achieved.
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