Kanye West is no stranger to controversy—so for his new album cover, he wanted a like-minded artist to be as out there as he is. Naturally, he approached artist George Condo. The rapper wanted Condo, who once worked as a printer for Andy Warhol, to create an album cover that would get “banned.” However, the cover for West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, featuring a trippy brightly colored image of a devilish monkey screwing a naked female monster with wings and a tail, never did get banned—in fact, even Wal-Mart was excited to sell it. Mental States, Condo’s first major U.S. survey, is just as out there, with more than 80 paintings and sculptures from the past 28 years of the artist’s career. The exhibition, divided on two floors and separated in chapter form, details the artist’s unique adaptation of Old Master paintings and has its own share of female monsters and strange monkey people suitable for rock stars and us weirdly normal folk.

Jan. 26-May 8, 2011