I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing portraits of famed visual artist and painter George Condo a few weeks ago in his Upper East Side townhouse studio. George Condo is a nice guy, amazing artist and old friend of world-famous artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. I photographed him in his studio for the Financial Times. Read the interview here.

From the interview by Julie Belcove:

“George Condo is something of a Renaissance man. He is an internationally lauded artist, acclaimed for his warped, if humorous, take on portraiture. But he is also an accomplished musician, a skilled home chef, an amusing raconteur and, as he recounts in one story, an enthusiastic gambler. Perched on a rickety chair in his New York studio, cigarette in hand, he tells how he travelled to Monaco 15 years ago to design costumes and sets for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo but, faced with nine days of downtime, eventually wandered over to the casino.

“I didn’t know how to play, so we watched the old ladies putting coins into the slot machines,” he recalls. After lunch and the lubrication of a nice bottle of wine, he proceeded to a giant slot machine and on his second spin won. Big time. His 365,000 francs in winnings were ceremoniously delivered on a silver tray and required two security boxes at the Hotel de Paris. “Now we’re real players,” he told his brother-in-law over another bottle of wine. “Now we’re in the game.”