She is one of the most celebrated portrait painters of recent times, but it is not as well known that Elizabeth Peyton has always practiced photography alongside painting. Her photographs, taken over the last two decades with 35-millimeter Polaroid and (more recently) digital cameras, reveal a more informal side to Peyton's aesthetic, in which the intrinsic serendipities of photographic exposure and development are allowed full play.
The 62 portraits published in this volume are a mixture of celebrities and art stars of varying fame--such as Marc Jacobs, Matthew Barney, Chloë Sevigny, Jake Chapman, Nick Relph, Spencer Sweeney, Jarvis Cocker, Gavin Brown, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Olafur Eliasson, Jonathan Horowitz, Craig Wadlin, Urs Fischer, Franz Ackermann, Pauline Daly, Pati Hertling and Ben Brunnemer. These are the elegantly tousled, the glamorously at-ease, reclining in a world of Bohemian camaraderie under Peyton's gaze. "Again and again her camera seeks out pale young men with mussed hair," The New York Times observed when these pictures were exhibited at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in July 2008, responding to the casual, beau monde atmosphere Peyton conjures here. Whether depicted at the elegant Chateau Marmont or in more intimate domestic settings, the people introduced in this volume emerge through the artist's spontaneous treatment and the uncalculated quirks of over- or underexposed images.