George Condo is one of America’s most important painters of our time. He’s from Chelmsford.
These days he lives in Manhattan.
The January 17 issue of The New Yorker includes a ten-page profile of Condo by Calvin Tomkins, a staff writer for the magazine since 1960. Tomkins gives Condo the full New Yorker treatment on the occasion of “a mid-career survey exhibition” at the New Museum in NYC that opens on January 26.
Tomkins writes about 53-year-old Condo’s youth in Chelmsford, his two years as a music major at UMass Lowell where his father (now deceased) taught physics and calculus, his affinity for Kerouac and the Beats, and his roots in the Boston art and music scenes of the late 1970s. He left UMass Lowell to study painting at Massachusetts College of Art, but quit almost immediately to concentrate on making art. His mother still lives in Chelmsford, and is quoted as saying that she would have liked her son to do the cover art for Susan Boyle’s new album rather than the wild image he created for Kanye West’s recent album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
It would be great for UMass Lowell to close the loop and award George Condo an honorary degree.
George Condo in his studio in New York City (photo by Tina Barney courtesy of New Yorker website)