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La Grande Famille de l'Art Contemporain by Anna Condo
Reading time: about 8 minutes
About this series
Introducing the Extravagant Portraits of La Grande Famille de l'Art Contemporain by Anna Condo – a fusion of AI and artistry.
In the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art, Anna Condo, a visionary force in the realm of photography and AI-generated art, whose latest series delves deep into the heart of the extroverted art world. Through her remarkable collection, aptly titled La Grande Famille de l'Art Contemporain, she unveils a captivating universe where characters and their everyday world come to life, exuding the vivacity and flamboyance synonymous with the art scene.
With a deft touch and an astute understanding of both art history and the capabilities of AI, Condo masterfully orchestrates a collision of tradition and innovation. The digital glass-canvases burst forth with vibrant colors, dynamic compositions, and a palpable energy, mirroring the larger-than-life personas and extravagant lifestyles that often permeate the art world.
Your ability to capture the essence of your subjects in this series in such an exuberant manner is a testament to your profound understanding and background within the arts. For those who don’t know you. Can you give a brief introduction to yourself?
I grew up in a family where art, music and literature were, along with food, nature and flowers, our #1s. I was passionate about film and theater, not only the lives of characters/storytelling but also the visual aesthetics, colors, composition, choreography. I was happiest reading, playing, dreaming, imagining. I did lots of theater in high school and studied music and dance. At 17 I got hired to do my first acting job, then continued till I was 25, did a conservatory for 3 years all while acting in film and TV, and working a day job to pay for school and rent. It was the early 80s, in Paris, my “la boheme.” I then started to live between Paris and New York, had a first child. I spoke no English at the time, but I eventually began writing and directing and producing short films, and I published my first book. Then in 2013 I began photographing flowers. My fascination with color, composition, and light inspired my daily work and portraits. In 2022, I was introduced to AI and have been constantly creating and experimenting ever since.
Your generated characters that populate La Grande Famille de l'Art Contemporain are more than mere representations; they are bold expressions of the diverse personalities found within the extrovert art world. Each stroke of the digital brush reveals the idiosyncrasies, quirks, and even the vulnerabilities of these larger-than-life figures. How do you see your figures acting within this series?
This collection reflects how I view the contemporary art world, and so the characters I’ve created inside my works speak to my experiences within that world I inhabited for so long. Ultimately, I want my art to translate my social and cultural observations, my reflections, but first and foremost I am obsessed with creating. I don’t want to impose a rigid interpretation of these characters either, I want the viewer to be inspired by their own journey and impose their unique layers and perspectives into how they view and understand my work.
Can you talk about the story of two images you like most within this series?
Picking favorites is not something I like doing, but I love the juxtaposition of Art World.3 and Art World.5. I believe they tell the story of our past, present, and future. I am fascinated by this crossroads we find ourselves in. Changing modalities, new technologies, the old guard wanting to keep their way of life, clinging on as the water rises and overcomes them. Not that I am of the opinion AI will be the only way forward, but the pushback is clear. We can equally stand inside the Sistine chapel and look up in complete awe, while also exploring these new methods of creation that our society has invented. I think these images and this collection speak to this idea among other themes.
What are some main similarities and differences working as a photographer vs working as an Al artist?
The same ingredients are used to create. Light, color, composition, depth, scale, and texture are always at the top of my mind when I am creating any art with photography or with AI. With AI, there is more of an unexpected element. In photography, maybe something surprising happens that you can capture, but with AI your relationship with the technology may lead you somewhere you didn’t anticipate going. I love this aspect of refinement and experimentation. I am often inspired by these unintentional moments, as I feel that it captures the mystery of life that keeps everything interesting. A random encounter can be meaningless or life altering. Who makes that decision, and how do we determine meaning from a chance encounter?
I know what you mean, a random encounter for an artist can spark creative transformation. You as an artist ultimately make the decision on how to interpret and incorporate the encounter into your work, if you think it will have an impact.
Can you share some insight into your process and technique how you approach your AI series?
Constant revision, tweaking, adaptation. I refine, refine, refine, and refine. My process is work intensive. I care so much about the end product, about creating something beautiful and thought provoking. While I won’t give away any of my secret recipes, my general obsession with aesthetic qualities, but also my senses, emotions and history inform my process.
Can you share one or two practical tips for people starting to explore AI?
Just go for it! Find your authentic voice. AI provides easy routes and more difficult ones. Obviously within AI the ability to produce and reproduce is easier, but finding your unique voice, and using the tools to translate that perspective into imagery is when the magic happens.
What are you working on now? And where is your photography going?
I am working on a few larger scale projects with AI that I am really excited about, but not yet ready to speak about in great detail. In truth, I am always working. When I am inspired by something I can’t help myself, it becomes all consuming. As for my photography, I have a few ideas. Today I am working with AI, but maybe tomorrow it will be something else. I will always follow what moves me.
Anna Condo is a filmmaker and a photographer, born in Armenia and raised in France. From a young age, Anna enjoyed a passion for the arts and a love for the natural world's mysteries.
As a teenager, she took art classes at the École des Arts Appliqués in Paris. Upon graduation, she enrolled at the Université Paris Nanterre for Art History and Archeology. That same year, she landed a TV role, transferred to the drama school Cours Florent and launched an acting career.
In 1989, Anna began living between New York City and Paris. While in New York, she attended the Lee Strasberg Institute, raised two beautiful daughters, collaborated with numerous artists, wrote and directed four short films and three feature films, and published her first book, AH Allen, a powerful tribute to her friend, poet Allen Ginsberg.
In 2013, Anna rekindled a fascination with photography choosing flowers as the ultimate muse. The medium and the models became a creative outlet in solitude, counterbalancing her filmmaking's collaborative spirit. In the 2020s she started to explore the world of NFTs and blockchain.
Photos copyright Anna Condo
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