Elizabeth Peyton: What I’m Listening To

Elizabeth Peyton’s rise to fame was partly propelled by her energetic, painterly portraits of rock stars like David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker, Pete Doherty, Kurt Cobain and Keith Richards. But after speaking to Peyton at Bookmarc last night during the book signing for her new collection of photographs, Here She Comes Now, it’s clear she doesn’t find her muse in musicians so much as in music. And you’ll never guess what she’s listening to these days.

"I’m excited that it’s all about music, which is my biggest passion," said the native of Danbury, Connecticut, who splits her time between Long Island and Berlin, in between signing copies of the 112-page book published in July by German art press Walther König.

Edited by Peyton and Danish curator Johan Holten, and featuring texts by Holten and Vogue magazine contributing editor Dodie Kazanjian, Here She Comes Now reveals the stylistic breadth of Peyton’s musical passion, bringing together her well-known rock star portraits with depictions of opera singers like Jessye Norman, Jonas Kaufmann and Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld captured in the midst of a live performance.

Recently, on a friend’s recommendation, she’s been listening to Jackson C. Frank, the late American folk musician who never rose to fame during his hard-knock life, but whose songs have been covered by Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, Fairport Convention and Counting Crows, to name a few.

She’s also listening to Russian opera, and in particular, Prince Igor, a four-act opera about the military campaign of the eponymous Russian prince against tribal invaders in the year 1185. It was left unfinished by 19th-century Romantic composer Alexander Borodin and later completed by his contemporaries Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov.

Peyton’s recent and esoteric music listening choices are a far cry from Babyshambles. They reveal the kind of sprawling curiosity befitting an artist who, according to New York Times art critic Robert Smith, "helped open the floodgates to the painterly, outsiderish, illustrational, art-smart figurative styles that by now has become a crowded genre."

Listen to Frank’s "Milk and Honey," which appeared on the soundtrack to Vincent Gallo’s 2003 art house film, The Brown Bunny. And watch an orchestral and choral performance of "Polovtsian Dances" from Borodin’s Prince Igor, conducted by Valery Gergiev.




Photo of Elizabeth Peyton by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Art Basel Countdown: Six Great Art + Fashion Collaborations

Season nine of Art Basel Miami Beach kicks off December 2, which means you’ll be jumping on a plane to check out the country’s greatest art show any day now. While you’re busy planning which exhibits and parties to hit, we’ll be here counting down to the big event with some art-inspired features. To get things started, here’s a roundup of awesome art-meets-fashion items available at Opening Ceremony.

1. MismoAnOther & Colette x Peter Pilotto Mismo Shopper. AnOther Magazine and Paris boutique Colette’s collaborative project with womenswear designer Peter Pilotto takes this classic bag to the next level, thanks to Pilotto’s signature 3D print. $315.

2. VilacKeith Haring Chair. The renowned French toy company was provided with a number of New York artist Keith Haring’s iconic pieces, which produced a brilliant children’s chair that’s guaranteed to become a collector’s item. $155.

3. Mandy CoonGinny Leather Bunny Bag. The New York model-turned-DJ-turned-designer’s leather bunny-shaped bag is cute, a little creepy, and a fun conversation piece. $435.

4. Marina Abramović The Artist is Present. Known as the “grandmother of performance art,” this must-have retrospective traces the prolific career of Marina Abramović, whose work spans over four decades of installations, solo performances, and work with longtime collaborator Ulay. $50.

5. Art Production FundElizabeth Peyton Towel. Elizabeth Peyton’s towel version of her Sid Vicious charcoal drawing was produced as part of Art Production Fund and WOW (Works on Whatever)’s Artist Towel Series, which debuted at Art Basel Miami in 2008. $95.

6. Aurel Schmidt for OCP Tee. 2010 Whitney Biennial artist (and Art Basel fixture) Aurel Schmidt’s exclusive letter tees for Opening Ceremony are based off of the Ace Hotel shop sign she created, which spells out the hotel’s name in beer, blood, and other junk. $60.