George Condo Discusses Kanye’s Cover Art


The day is finally upon us.

After weeks of performances, interviews and leaks, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy official hits stores and Internet retailers today. To commemorate the release, New York Mag last night posted a breakdown of the album’s covers provided by George Condo, the man who created them.

Condo, a New York-based visual artist, says that he got a call from Ye this past Spring asking if he would be willing to work on the album covers. He then goes on to discuss the different pieces, including the one featuring Kanye and a phoenix [above], which has since been blurred out by some outlets.

“She’s a kind of fragment, between a sphinx, a phoenix, a haunting ghost, a harpy,” Condo said of the woman in the painting. “And then Kanye is also in some sort of strange 1970s burned-out back room of a Chicago blues club having a beer—so far away from the real Kanye West that it’s just a scream. I was challenging him with the imagery as well. He said, ‘I’m shocked, but I like it, and I gotta go with my gut feeling.’”

Of the fact that it has been blurred out on copies of the album at Wal-Mart and on iTunes, Condo said, “The superimposition of people’s perceptions on a cartoon is shocking. What’s happening in their minds should be banned. Not the painting.”

For Condo’s breakdown of the other pieces used for Kanye’s covers, head over to Vulture. —Adam Fleischer