Elizabeth Peyton

Live to Ride 2003

“There’s a very specific kind of person that I’m making pictures of. It’s who I’m very interested in and identifying with and sort of see as very hopeful in the world. I see them as great role models.”

ELIZABETH PEYTON is a New York artist known for her modern take on figurative portraits of her friends, family and well-known cultural icons. Elizabeth likes to paint people she admires or finds intriguing, anyone from Kurt Cobain to Michelle Obama. Her contemporary works are often described as a hybrid between realism and conceptualism, but Elizabeth refuses to be defined or to have her artistic works labeled as one thing or the other, instead she refers to her art as an intimate living record of history and time.

Michelle & Sasha Obama 2008

“Sometimes things, even in a very figurative painting, aren’t so literal. Paintings take time and they become a concentration of a lot of feelings, not just a description of what somebody looks like.”

“People are just so interesting. They’re the location of so many things: history, time, love. Above all things, love. I would only spend my time making art about something I felt was very, very important, the most important thing. And I think people are really important.”

Frida Kahlo 2005

“Although my work is not necessarily always about youth, a more general idea of it would be that it’s about becoming, realizing yourself.”

John Lennon 1996

“I think music is such an immediate way to contain emotion and love. You can’t hold on to it–it’s moving constantly–so it’s tragic as it’s happening. That’s the kind of thing I want to communicate in my pictures.”

Colin de Land 1994

“In the end, my work is all about love. Ultimately, all great art is really about love.”

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