I’ve watched and studied Elizabeth Peyton over the last 14 years and have become, I’d say, a little obsessed with her portraiture and the evolution of her subjects. I love the raw emotion or what on the surface appears to be a void there of. The combination of a strong, dominant, male presence with feminine undertones, red lips and a strict, but gentle jaw line. Peyton herself, appears that she could also be one of her monotype studies.
One of the reasons I stay intrigued with her work is the strength and passion of color and the use of vibrance with dark elements such as black shirts, purple (the color of royalty), dark hair, eyebrows or skin tones around the eyes. Kind of an ode to the legendary rockers and the lifestyle they lead. I love the simplicity of style and depth of complexity. Her 2011 show Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton, displayed at the New Museum, seemed to be an homage to rockers and socialites alike. Her works scream of her influencers Alex Katz, David Hockney and Andy Warhol. Similar to her mentors, her monotype, graphic style lends itself well to the edge of her works, but in contradiction, there is more of a Grace in her works. A moment in time where it is only she and her subject. It’s as if the person in the painting is looking at Elizabeth Peyton through your eyes. And…after all these years, I keep looking at them and hoping she’ll do more. Thank you Elizabeth Peyton!
Peyton c. 2000