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Rodrigo and His Muse

Rodrigo and His Muse
signed with artist’s signature and dated ‘07’ (upper left)
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
135 x 117 cm. (53 1⁄8 x 46 1⁄8 in.)
Painted in 2007
Private Collection, Miami (acquired directly from the artist)
Acquired from the above by the previous owner
Sotheby's New York, 15 November 2019, lot 464
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

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Ada Tsui (徐文君)
Ada Tsui (徐文君) Specialist, Head of Evening Sale

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Lot Essay

“[My work] finds a way to represent the human consciousness through portrait. That portrait could represent what’s not only the exterior appearance of that person but what’s going through their mind.” - George Condo

An emblematic piece of George Condo’s Psychological Cubism, Rodrigo and His Muse depicts Condo’s beloved figure, Rodrigo, in this rare monochromatic portrait. As a personification of man’s dark mental states, the mischievous character is a significant motif in the artist’s oeuvre. Here, Rodrigo no longer exists solely in Condo’s narrative as it also becomes a visual embodiment of the highest-decorated hip hop musician – Kanye West. Selected as the cover for his single Cold in the critically acclaimed album Cruel Summer, the artwork is possibly (in West’s eyes) a reflection of him with his artistic muse. Moreover, Condo’s portrayal of intricate, contorted psychological complexity perhaps resonates deeply with West.

From album covers to fashion collection, the entertainment mogul constantly engages in conversation with the world of visual arts, collaborating with some of the most iconic artists of our time. Rodrigo and His Muse represents a partnership between two trailblazing American artists who has earned their place in the contemporary cultural pantheon and celebrates the friendship of the two who are at the forefront in their respective creative disciplines.

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