Broad Strokes: George Condo

If you travel in art world circles, it’s impossible to miss George Condo — the evocative artist who ran in the same circles as Warhol and Haring and has been responsible for some of the most iconic visuals in modern popular culture. Whether you’re a collector, longtime fan of the artist, or hadn’t heard of him before this paragraph — here’s a quick primer on this blue-chip artist.

1. He was born in NH, joined a band, and became friends with Basquiat

Born in Concord, New Hampshire in 1957, Condo studied Music Theory at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, but quickly determined that it was “too formal and rigid for him”. In need of an art form that offered more creative freedom, Condo dove into visual art. At 23, Condo was offered his dream job working for Andy Warhol. He worked at Warhol’s New York City studio, The Factory, for nine months, and describes the experience as “incredibly intense.” The first public exhibitions of Condo’s work took place at Pat Hearn Gallery in the East Village in the 1980s. In his younger days, Condo was close friends with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, among other prominent New York-based painters. Curator Klaus Ottmann considers Condo and these fellow artists  to be “instrumental in the revival of figuration in American art.” 

Condo’s early work played an important role in the rise of Neo-Expressionism, a diverse art style that dominated the art market in the United States and Europe in the early and mid-1980s. He had his first solo European exhibition at Monika Sprüth Gallery in 1984, during which time he debuted the well-known painting , The Cloudmaker. This work illustrates a play on the Hollywood sign that spells out the artist’s surname.  Although he has been a major player on the art scene for several decades now, some experts believe his most coveted works are those created in the last decade.

2. He has sold 567 paintings for $223.2M at auction since 2006, with an average sales price of $307k.

Condo is a 63-year old blue chip artist most well-known for his use of aggressive imagery within portraits. Since 2006, 567 of Condo’s paintings have traded for an average price of $307k, increasing to an average price of $693k over the last 4 years. The following dashboard — compiled and built out by the Athena Art Finance Team — shows how his paintings have recently experienced very positive growth.

The Hammer Ratio is the measurement of an artwork’s performance against its low auction estimate published ahead of the sales. This metric illustrates that Condo has consistently outperformed expectations, hammering above pre-sale low estimates by 1.6x on average. Athena’s above analysis provides additional context for the historical performance of Condo’s artworks and speaks to overall demand for his work.

3. He created the cover art for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

In 2010, American rapper and producer Kanye West commissioned Condo to create the cover art for West’s album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Condo listened to the album and then created a series of paintings to be used as interchangeable covers to accompany the album. A ballerina in a black tutu raising a glass of red wine and a nightmarish nutcracker, are two such covers, but the main cover stirred up controversy. The image showed a nude Kanye being straddled by an also nude winged female creature, that is, in Condo’s words, “a kind of fragment, between a sphinx, a phoenix, and a haunting ghost, a harpy.” The artwork was deemed inappropriate for children so in order to sell the album, the art was pixelated. Rumor has it that Kanye specifically requested that Condo create art obscene enough for the cover to be banned. Neither man would complain about the results, as Condo’s work became that much more famous and Kanye’s album sales reached 500,000 copies in the first week. 

4. His painting Force Field, achieved the artist’s record price at auction. 

Condo’s record price at auction was achieved when the monumental sized painting, Force Field, 2010, hammered for $5.8M at Christie’s Hong Kong on July 7, 2020 (a total of $6.9M, including the buyer’s premium).

5. Condo is still a working artist.

Condo currently lives and works primarily out of his apartment in the Upper East Side of New York City and his studio in the Hamptons. He refers to his most recent works as “drawing paintings,” because, in his words, “there is no real difference between them, they can exist in one happy continuum”. His work appears in the permanent collections of MoMA in New York, the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles andTate Gallery in London, among many others. A large retrospective exhibition of Condo’s work is currently on view in China at  Shanghai’s Long Museum. 

Interested in learning more about art finance? Learn more about Athena Art Finance and art finance opportunities on Yieldstreet.  

How helpful is this content?

Share this article:

Sign up for Yieldstreet in 3 easy steps

Sign up with your email address

Securely verify your identity and link a bank account

Verify your accreditation (if applicable) to access all of Yieldstreet’s offerings.

The Yield

Our weekly podcast providing ideas about how to make money work for you and bring you closer to your dreams.

Since inception, over $2.0B has been invested on Yieldstreet

Join today for free to access alternative investment opportunities.

1 Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections may not reflect actual future performance. All securities involve risk and may result in significant losses.

3 "Annual interest" or "Annualized Return" represents an annual target rate of interest or annualized target return and "term" represents the estimated term of the investment. Such target interest or target returns and estimated term are projections of the interest or returns and or term and may ultimately not be achieved. Actual interest or returns and term may be materially different from such projections. This targeted interest or returns and estimated term are based on the underlying investments held by the applicable.

4 Reflects the annualized distribution rate that is calculated by taking the most recent quarterly distribution approved by the Fund's Board of Directors and dividing it by prior quarter-end NAV and annualizing it. The Fund’s distribution may exceed its earnings. Therefore, a portion of the Fund’s distribution may be a return of the money you originally invested and represent a return of capital to you for tax purposes.

5 The Fund will cease investing and seek to liquidate the Fund's remaining portfolio no later than 48 months after the Fund's initial closing. It may take up to twelve months thereafter to fully monetize any remaining illiquid investments in the Fund's portfolio.

6 Represents the sum of the interest accrued in the statement period plus the interest paid in the statement period.

7 The internal rate of return ("IRR") represents an average net realized IRR with respect to all matured investments weighted by the investment size of each individual investment, made by private investment vehicles managed by YieldStreet Management, LLC from July 1, 2015 through and including Nov 15th, 2021, after deduction of management fees and all other expenses charged to investments.

8 Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Yieldstreet Prism Fund before investing. The prospectus for the Yieldstreet Prism Fund contains this and other information about the Fund and can be obtained by emailing [email protected] or by referring to www.yieldstreetprismfund.com. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing in the Fund. Investments in the Fund are not bank deposits (and thus not insured by the FDIC or by any other federal governmental agency) and are not guaranteed by Yieldstreet or any other party.

300 Park Avenue 15th Floor, New York, NY 10022

844-943-5378

No communication by YieldStreet Inc. or any of its affiliates (collectively, “Yieldstreet™”), through this website or any other medium, should be construed or is intended to be a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any security or otherwise to be investment, tax, financial, accounting, legal, regulatory or compliance advice. Nothing on this website is intended as an offer to extend credit, an offer to purchase or sell securities or a solicitation of any securities transaction.

Any financial projections or returns shown on the website are estimated predictions of performance only, are hypothetical, are not based on actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Estimated projections do not represent or guarantee the actual results of any transaction, and no representation is made that any transaction will, or is likely to, achieve results or profits similar to those shown. In addition, other financial metrics and calculations shown on the website (including amounts of principal and interest repaid) have not been independently verified or audited and may differ from the actual financial metrics and calculations for any investment, which are contained in the investors’ portfolios. Any investment information contained herein has been secured from sources that Yieldstreet believes are reliable, but we make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy of such information and accept no liability therefor.

Private placement investments are NOT bank deposits (and thus NOT insured by the FDIC or by any other federal governmental agency), are NOT guaranteed by Yieldstreet or any other party, and MAY lose value. Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any federal or state securities commission or regulatory authority has recommended or approved any investment or the accuracy or completeness of any of the information or materials provided by or through the website. Investors must be able to afford the loss of their entire investment.

Investments in private placements are speculative and involve a high degree of risk and those investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment should not invest. Additionally, investors may receive illiquid and/or restricted securities that may be subject to holding period requirements and/or liquidity concerns. Investments in private placements are highly illiquid and those investors who cannot hold an investment for the long term (at least 5-7 years) should not invest.

Alternative investments should only be part of your overall investment portfolio. Further, the alternative investment portion of your portfolio should include a balanced portfolio of different alternative investments.

Articles or information from third-party media outside of this domain may discuss Yieldstreet or relate to information contained herein, but Yieldstreet does not approve and is not responsible for such content. Hyperlinks to third-party sites, or reproduction of third-party articles, do not constitute an approval or endorsement by Yieldstreet of the linked or reproduced content.

Investing in securities (the "Securities") listed on Yieldstreet™ pose risks, including but not limited to credit risk, interest rate risk, and the risk of losing some or all of the money you invest. Before investing you should: (1) conduct your own investigation and analysis; (2) carefully consider the investment and all related charges, expenses, uncertainties and risks, including all uncertainties and risks described in offering materials; and (3) consult with your own investment, tax, financial and legal advisors. Such Securities are only suitable for accredited investors who understand and willing and able to accept the high risks associated with private investments.

Investing in private placements requires long-term commitments, the ability to afford to lose the entire investment, and low liquidity needs. This website provides preliminary and general information about the Securities and is intended for initial reference purposes only. It does not summarize or compile all the applicable information. This website does not constitute an offer to sell or buy any securities. No offer or sale of any Securities will occur without the delivery of confidential offering materials and related documents. This information contained herein is qualified by and subject to more detailed information in the applicable offering materials. Yieldstreet™ is not registered as a broker-dealer. Yieldstreet™ does not make any representation or warranty to any prospective investor regarding the legality of an investment in any Yieldstreet Securities.

Banking services are provided by Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC.

Investment advisory services are provided by YieldStreet Management, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Our site uses a third party service to match browser cookies to your mailing address. We then use another company to send special offers through the mail on our behalf. Our company never receives or stores any of this information and our third parties do not provide or sell this information to any other company or service.

Read full disclosure
Copyright © 2021 YieldStreet, Inc.