The video contains statements by the curator who has worked closely with Peyton for years. She stridently insists that Peyton is a “hybrid” between painting and conceptual art and that her biggest influence is Warhol. I’m not quite sure what to think of it, as I believe that a lot of painting is and has been conceptual. It’s not something which started in the 20th century. I also can’t think of one living artist who isn’t hourly under the sway of Andy Warhol.
It’s funny how an interest in pretty rockstars needs to be dressed up, justified and historicized. I know I wasn’t the only young girl who drew made-up glamorous faces. All my boys looked like girls - which is probably why the high school portraits I made of David Bowie were the most recognizable, since he was blurring those lines anyway.
One time Randy Moe, Portland portrait artist extraordinaire, asked me why his work was a big deal (at least to me). After a long harangue, I said, look, do you know Elizabeth Peyton? He didn’t. There’s a lot of similarity - the difference being that Moe paints his friends, artists and rockers of P-town, whereas Peyton paints artists and rockers of the world. (Here is his portrait of the artist Tom Cramer and one of James Chasse Jr.).
Maybe the adamant stance is necessary when the artist is a woman painting pretty people. One thing I found interesting is how even though Peyton is adding lipstick and eyeliner to all her subjects (like Liam and Noel Gallagher and Jarvis Cocker), she is dressed down herself. In interviews I found of her on Youtube and elsewhere, she is casual, undone and unpainted, perhaps taking no chances lest you confuse her as an object and not look at the objects that she makes.