Elizabeth Peyton

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Elizabeth Peyton is a contemporary American painter best known for her intimate, small-scale portraits of celebrities, friends, and historical figures. Characterised by transparent washes of pigment and a jewel-tone palette, Peyton’s works address notions of idolatry and obsession.

For me, her works are similar with the intention of why we paint, capturing the mood; subject’s emotion; and the general feel of the person’s aura; being fasciated with the characterisation, and being fasciated with the features and uniqueness of such people.

What attracts you in a face? Is it the eyes? The line of the lips, the wrinkles, the smile?

“I think it’s the personality that makes those lines and eyes and colors and wrinkles. You know, I think people’s faces look how they do from a lot of internal conscious decision making or even just the movements, how they use their face — it has to do with their emotional character. I think everybody is beautiful, can be beautiful… It’s sort of a matter of choice in some way. ”

“To paint well, I need to be enraptured by my subjects.”


” I think the final circle in being an artist is connecting, making some conversation to the world you’re in. “

— Elizabeth Peyton



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