Artificial Realism

The term "Artificial Realism" was coined by artist George Condo to describe his own unique style of painting. Condo began using the term in the late 1970s and early 1980s, during the height of the Neo-Expressionist movement. Artificial Realism is characterized by a blending of various styles and techniques, including elements of cartooning, caricature, and traditional painting. Artificial Realism emphasizes the construction of images rather than their representation of reality. Condo's work often features distorted figures, hybrid creatures, and surreal landscapes, which are intended to evoke a sense of the absurd and the fantastical. By reimagining traditional styles and motifs in a way that is both recognizable and absurd, Condo creates a world that is at once familiar and strange. In many ways, Artificial Realism is a continuation of the Neo-Expressionist movement, which sought to revive figurative painting in the wake of the dominance of Minimalism and Conceptualism. However, Condo's use of cartoonish, caricature-like figures sets his work apart from that of other Neo-Expressionist painters. His work has been described as a "hallucinatory" blend of high and low culture references, and has been credited with helping to pave the way for the emergence of the "lowbrow" art movement in the 1990s. Today, the term "Artificial Realism" is still closely associated with George Condo and his unique style of painting. However, the influence of Artificial Realism can be seen in the work of many contemporary artists who continue to blend elements of traditional painting with popular culture references in order to create works that are both accessible and thought-provoking.