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  • Provenance

    neugerriemschneider, Berlin; David Zwirner Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    U. Grosenick, ed., Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century, Cologne, 2001, p. 436, no. 6 (illustrated as Piotr’s Passport Painting)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the current lot, Piotr’s first I.D. Photo, 1997, Elizabeth Peyton depicts her artist colleague Piotr Uklanski as an androgynous younger boy.

    “Peyton does not distinguish between “high” and “low” in her artistic work. She treats her protagonists from the supposedly “low culture” of pop and rock music inexactly the same way as she does the representatives of the high culture of literature or so-called “serious music”. The artist herself once put it as follows: “I read Melody Maker as much as I read Marcel Proust.” What her “models” have in common is that they have all created a world for themselves, only to come to grief in that wonderful aesthetic act of creation. Yet in their time, they were an important source of inspiration for others. This applies to the Beatles’ Octopus’ Garden or to Marcel Proust’s Things Past just as much as it does to Elvis Presley’s graceland of to visions of Ludwig II of Bavaria. As is the case here, Peyton’s portraits are imbued with a mood of happiness and early sorrow.

    Piotr’s short dyed honey-blond hair and shapely lips are what give him an androgynous, almost feminine look. This not only bares witness to the artist’s identification with her model; the androgynous aura is also a rejection of any attempt to construe genders as strictly separate. As a result, the person portrayed seems almost disembodied, suddenly becoming “Essential”, as Marcel Proust might have put it, in the sense that he has found his ideal essence beyond the customary understanding of roles and beyond the constraints of place and time. To achieve this very effect, Peyton portrays her sitters very much younger than they are. Like Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray, they seem immune to the aging process and thus to death.” (U. Grosenick, ed., Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century, Cologne, 2001, p. 432 -437)


Piotr’s first I.D. Photo

Oil on wooden panel.
9 1/8 x 7 in. (23.2 x 17.8 cm).
Signed, titled, and dated “Piotr’s first I.D. Photo 1997” on the reverse.

$400,000 - 450,000 

Sold for $531,200

Contemporary Art Part I

16 Nov 2006, 7pm
New York