Damian Elwes is a British painter born in 1960 who lives in L.A. From a family of famous portrait painters, his grandfather being Queen Elizabeth’s favourite, he studied in Harvard because he was good at maths but learned playwriting. In the early 1980s, Elwes moved to New York, where he met Keith Haring who encouraged him to start painting, and became an early exponent of graffiti. From 1992–2000,  Damian Elwes lived in southern Colombia in a house that he built overlooking a rainforest. There he created four vast, interactive paintings which viewers can walk around inside. His work now focuses on re-creating the studios of famous artists (Picasso, Matisse, Yayoi Kusama, Alex Katz, Keith Haring, Basquiat) through his deep research in documentation and historical records.


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Recorded on May 5th 2020

George Condo arrive chez son frère à Boston et y travaille dans un atelier de sérigraphie. Il rencontre alors Mark Dagley qui lui propose de rentrer dans son groupe punk. Entre concerts sur le campus de Harvard et dans des clubs alternatifs de New York où il rencontre Basquiat, Condo décide de déménager définitivement dans la Grosse Pomme fasciné par son énergie artistique.

Sa culture littéraire et ses compétences en sérigraphie le mènent jusqu’à l’atelier d’Andy Warhol où il travaille comme assistant. Très ami avec Basquiat, il fréquente le milieu underground, les premiers rappeurs et artistes graffiti. Il peint beaucoup et commence à exposer ; Keith Haring et Warhol achètent ses toiles.

Souhaitant développer son propre style et se démarquer du courant new yorkais du moment mené par Schnabel ou David Salle, il part pour l’Europe. Là il découvre les toiles de maîtres au Louvre et au Prado et fréquente les milieux littéraires et philosophiques de Paris. Il développe alors le Réalisme Artificiel qui définira son oeuvre des vingts années qui suivront.

George Condo arrives at his brother’s home in Boston and works in a silkscreen factory. He then meets Mark Dagley who offers him to join his punk band. Between concerts on the Harvard campus and alternative clubs in New York where he meets Basquiat, Condo decides to move permanently in Big Apple, fascinated by its artistic energy.

His literary culture and silkscreen skills leads him to Andy Warhol’s studio where he works as an assistant. Very good friend with Basquiat, he frequents the underground milieu and meets the first rappers and graffiti artists. He paints a lot and begins to exhibit; Keith Haring and Warhol buy his paintings.

Wishing to develop his own style and to stand out from the current New York trend led by Schnabel or David Salle, he leaves for Europe. There he discovers the old masters in the Louvre and the Prado and rub shoulders with the literary and philosophical intellectuals of Paris. He then develops the Artificial Realism, a style that will define his work for the next twenty years.