RIP, Gregory Kondos (1923-2021)

A life by the river

RIP, painter Gregory Kondos, known for his blue-skies depiction of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. (I heard the news via Scott Gilbert, a friend and artist.) I had the pleasure of interviewing Kondos at his Sacramento home shortly before he turned 90. He has died at 97.

I’d spoken with Kondos previously, while researching a story on his old friend, painter Mel Ramos, and I then mentioned to my excellent editor at the magazine Sactown that I wanted, when appropriate, to interview Kondos again, because he had been so outspoken. It was, as expected, a blast.

I love this childhood memory Kondos shared about his early years in Northern California, after moving at age 3 from Massachusetts, where he was born to Greek immigrants who, as he told me, didn’t speak a lick of English: “I fished all the time. But my dad had to catch a fish, I didn’t. If I caught a fish, fine. But if I didn’t, fine, didn’t matter. I just sat there and looked at the river and the trees.”

The full piece is at

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