Condo Painting

on March 10, 2000 by Cathy Thompson-Georges
   Screeching techno music. Digitized film tricks and shaky handheld camerawork. Paintings of fuzzy, cartoonish critters. "Condo Painting" is either an earsplitting nightmare or a postmodern dream--and whether you love it or hate it is likely to depend on how you feel about the work of painter George Condo.
   The film looks at Condo's professional and personal lives, and focuses especially on the evolution of one big canvas over the course of a year as Condo paints, overpaints, and paints some more, reworking until he achieves what he wants. This is the strongest part of director John McNaughton's documentary; the creative process at work is fascinating. Also of note are appearances by writers William S. Burroughs and Alan Ginsberg (shortly before their deaths); both were close friends of the painter. Less impressive is Condo himself, espousing a slightly incoherent vision of "antipodal beings" who inspire his work.    Starring George Condo and William S. Burroughs. Directed by John McNaughton. Produced by Dana Giacchetto. A USA release. Documentary. Unrated. Running time: 85 min.
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