George Condo: Existential Portraits
Interview by Ralph Rugoff.
This collection of bizarrely sensuous new paintings, drawings, and sculptures by the well-known New York City artist is based mainly on a complex character named Jean Louis, whose multiple personalities include a chauffeur, a butler and a maid, as well as other assorted relatives. We also meet "Uncle Joe," who's naked from the waist down and balancing a wine glass upon his raised foot, and a reclining female nude, clenching a cigarette between the fingers of an exceedingly hairy and Dr. Seuss-ish black glove. In this new, highly ironic body of work, much of which refers directly to Picasso, Condo aligns himself with a long line of art historical portraiture. His subjects are as elegant and alienating as they are absurd and comical; any notion of the classical is subverted through his outrageous morphology, as he enjoys the playful interweaving of high and low.