Kanye West hit the streets of New York on Tuesday (January 25) to attend artist George Condo’s “Mental States” exhibit at the New Museum. The artist is also the man behind West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy cover. While there, ’Ye had a Prince-like exchange with New York Magazine, where he answered the reporter’s questions … but didn’t.
Are you happy with the paintings George did of you?
[Kanye nods head yes.]
You are happy?
Would you make any changes if you were to do a self-portrait?
[Shakes head no.]
Are you mute tonight?
Do you want to do sign language?
[Nods head. Pretends to sign, then shakes our hand and walks away.]
So who is Condo? The 53-year-old contemporary artist and sculptor is known for dark paintings that owe a huge debt to hero Pablo Picasso’s cubist masterpieces, as well as Spanish painter Francisco Goya’s grim work on such iconic paintings as “Saturn Devouring His Son” and Andy Warhol’s skewed take on pop-culture icons.
Condo has been creating beautifully disturbing images for nearly three decades, specializing in provocative paintings with an often-comical tinge, with pieces in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. He burst on the scene in the early 1980s alongside such contemporaries as Julian Schnabel, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, helping to usher in a new age of painting that mashed up classical sources with a modern, street-art edge.
His style, referred to as “artificial realism,” often uses inspiration from Greek mythology and European history, as well as American pop culture, frequently creating bug-eyed, cartoon-like characters with a sinister edge that some critics have referred to as “baroque” and “grotesque.”
He has also branched out into more mainstream pop culture lately, creating a line of skateboard decks for Supreme that debuted earlier this year, including one with a twisted take on the Superman character.
Clothing designer Marc Jacobs, and his fur, also stopped by the festivities. Thanks to MissInfo for the heads up.
What do you think of Kanye’s silent interview? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!