Elizabeth Peyton: Portrait of an Artist


Curiously, for someone releasing a retrospective photography tome, Elizabeth Peyton doesn't consider herself a photographer. But throughout the painter's two-decade career, photographs have played an integral role in the genesis of her intimate, expressive paintings (which were the subject themselves of a recent major retrospective at NY's New Museum). Particularly with her early paintings, the final product came from the snapshots she incessantly took.

"Portrait of an Artist" is a drawn from a 2008 exhibition of the same name at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut. Taken throughout her career, the series of 62 images include both 35-millimeter and Polaroid pictures before, more recently, adopting digital. Like those of her paintings, the subjects are primarily celebrities and art world figures like Matthew Barney, Chloe Sevigny, Marc Jacobs and Olafur Eliasson. Peyton even turns the lens on her long time gallerist Gavin Brown and, in one self-portrait, herself (pictured below).


The photos all have an off-handed quality, as likely to result from her trepidatious relationship with the medium as her familiarity with the subjects. You can purchase Portrait of an Artist from Amazon or directly through Artbook.