Thursday, May 1, 2014

Elizabeth Peyton

Top 100, 2004: Cat Power
11" x 6", oil on board, 2004
About fifteen years ago I saw a painting by Elizabeth Peyton depicting the rock star Liam Gallagher. I immediately recognized, in that one painting, a certain kinship in our work. It felt empowering that her work, feeling a similarity in sensibility and attitude with mine, was so highly esteemed in the contemporary art world. There’s a similarity in chronology too; we’re about the same age, started out with somewhat clunky drawings in the late eighties, and moved on to produce small oil portraits of musicians on boards in the nineties. Between the two of us she’s the better painter and for sure the more professional. Where my career was marred by detours and missed opportunities, her’s went straight up. Since the early 2000s I’ve gained a bit of recognition, my work has been shown in the same spaces as hers, even in the same exhibition, collected by the same collectors, and reproduced in the very same book, but my work never gained the exposure her’s did. I’m like her amateur little brother (even though I’m a bit older), not being able to fully get out of the little boy’s room, and still dabbling away at that what started us in the beginning. I’ve never met ms. Peyton.

Elizabeth Peyton
Blue Liam, 17" x 14"
oil on board, 1996
Gavin Brown Enterprise

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