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  • Provenance

    Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 1999

  • Exhibited

    New York, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, Elizabeth Peyton, March 25 - May 1, 1999

  • Catalogue Essay

    "There is no separation for me between people I know through their music or photos and someone I know personally. The way I perceive them is very similar, in that there's no difference between certain qualities that I find inspiring in them." Elizabeth Peyton

    Elizabeth Peyton combines the luxuriant brushwork of 19th century portraiture, the compositional dynamism of geometric abstraction and the bold, emotive color palette of surrealism to impart a dramatic air to her sitters. Transformed into a small votive image, this intimate icon, Star, Elliott, 1999, throws into relief Peyton's use of devotional portraiture in her treatment of her unambiguously modern subject matter. Star, Elliott, like all of her subjects is androgynous, "pretty," feline, and stylized, glowing with godly incandescence. Shown here is Elliott Smith, a musician known for his ethereal and haunting songwriting whose song Miss Misery won the artist wide renown when it was Oscar nominated for Best Original Song in Good Will Hunting released in 1997. Unfortunately, Smith’s depression and substance abuse were only exacerbated by this increased attention paid to the artist, and these personal demons are touchingly reflected in this loaded little image.

    Peyton holds a unique position among artists of her generation. Her quiet, often small, and cool portraits present a very particular expression of various relational systems. There is something beguiling about Peyton’s portraiture. Despite its modest scale and deceptively casual manner, Peyton's intimate portrait of Smith draws the viewer like a magnet, condensing emotion into the picture plane. The viewer both understands the beauty of the individual and his creative genius while also glimpsing, however briefly, the pain attendant to his ghostly beauty.


Star, Elliott

oil on board
12 x 9 in. (30.5 x 22.9 cm)
Signed, titled and dated "Star, Elliott Elizabeth 1999" on the reverse.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $209,000

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250

New Now Evening Sale

New York Auction 29 February 2016 6pm