George Condo, 1957–, American artist, b. Concord, N.H., studied Lowell Univ. Condo emerged as a painter in the early 1980s, and his work has influened a younger generation of figurative painters. He is best known for his imaginary portraits, painted in a style he dubbed
His characteristic works are grotesque amalgams, standard portraits with weird attributes that are painted using classical techniques. He creates a race of surreal creatures simultaneously frightening and funny—mixtures of Old Masters and cartoons with strangely staring, bug-eyed, toothy, long-necked, pin-headed or many-headed individuals and interacting figures that form a kind of painted alternate reality. In later paintings he often portrays several recurring characters. Enormously prolific, Condo also has produced sculpture, collages, drawings, and prints.
See The Imaginary Portraits of George Condo (2002) and George Condo: Existential Portraits (2006); R. Rugoff and L. Hoptman, George Condo: Mental States (2011); Condo Painting (documentary dir. by J. McNaughton, 2000).