Elizabeth Peyton


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She first attracted attention in the mid-1990s with stylized and idealized portraits of her friends, pop stars, and members of European royal houses. These characters, androgynous figures rife with sexual ambivalence, appear in small-format pictures executed in various techniques: oil on canvas, watercolor or pencil drawing on paper, etching. Peyton’s sources are photographs she either takes herself or sources from the yellow press, and so her art is inspired by the studio portraits of well-known photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Robert Mapplethorpe. The painter she says she admires most is David Hockney; many critics also see the influence of Andy Warhol, who often portrayed celebrities. Elizabeth Peyton has captured the faces of an entire generation (of artists) in pictures that show a very personal touch. The book presents highlights of her portraiture created between 1994 and 2014: David Hockney, Kurt Cobain, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jude Law, Jake Chapman, Lady Di, and others. With essays by Laura Hoptman and Boris Pofalla.