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A New York City based artist, Elizabeth Peyton focuses on portraits of famous people. She uses media photographs for her source material and reflects her love of the famous in her painted portraits, which have glossy surfaces.

She made her name with a series of portraits of 19th century Romantic figures in a 1993 show at the Chelsea Hotel by Gavin Brown. In 1995, she did a series of adoring portraits of suicide rocker Kurt Cobain and has also done numerous portraits of David Hockney. Her work is very personal, making it “OK to talk about the emotional content of painting again, to talk about desire and love and longing.”

Her colors resemble those of a cosmetics counter, and her subjects are generally focused on alienated youth or on everyday pastimes.

Peyton was born in Danbury, Connecticut and earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1987.

Source includes:
Susan Hanson, “Making Faces”, ARTnews, February 2006

Biography from the Archives of AskART.