The Guardian on the artist George Condo
That openness to influence is even more characteristic of how he paints, riffing incessantly on the painters he loves – Rembrandt, Hals, Picasso, De Kooning, Rothko, Guston, Degas, whoever – in order to establish his own identity as an artist. "The only way for me to feel the difference between every other artist and me is to use every artist to become me." He points to a little patch of yellow pastel in the corner of a picture called The Laughing Clown. "That's me being fascinated with Degas's ballet dancers and wanting to work with his palette. It's like a cross between Hegel and Heidegger. The appearance of the painting suggests the being of the thing. And the simultaneous presence of various different psychological states adds up to what the object is." Righto, and Heidegger? "That's the idea of becoming. So you have this diversity of artistic influences in a picture and they're in a process of becoming – becoming the painting, something different and autonomous from the influences that go into it."