Elizabeth Peyton and Robert Phelps: rock star portraits
I was reading an item about Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker just a moment ago and all I could think about is the fact that British artist Elizabeth Peyton painted much ballyhooed portraits of Cocker and several other rock stars (Kurt Cobain, Eminem) a few years ago and the international art press went apeshit for it.
It was interesting to me that someone could be become the darling of the art world for the kind of work many of us fans did alone in our bedrooms when while growing up. I know I sketched plenty of pictures of David Bowie and Jim Morrison when I was 15. The best drawing I ever did was the little boy on the cover of U2‘s War album.
Alas some fans are more talented than others. For years now, I have seen artist friends like Robert Phelps painting beautiful portraits of people like David Bowie and Bjork and I’ve realized famous musicians are the modern day equivalent of the important society types who used to get portraits done centuries ago. Mick Jagger = Abe Lincoln? Well, something like that.
I think some of Bobby’s paintings are even better than Peyton’s. (They’re certainly more affordable). Check it out:
If you could paint any rock star, who would you choose? Or maybe you already do? If you aren’t talented like Peyton and Phelps, would you buy a painting of a musician you really liked? Do you know of another artists – even just a friend – who does great portraits like these?