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Artist of the Day: Elizabeth Peyton

Elizabeth Peyton is a contemporary American artist who paints stylized and romanticized portraits of her close friends, celebs, and European monarchy.
After graduating from New York's School of Visual Arts in the mid-'80s, she had her first solo show at the Althea Viafora Gallery in SoHo in 1987, and rose to popularity in the mid-'90s. Among her subjects, which are often inspired by photographs, are Liam Gallagher, Julian Casablancas, Jarvis Cocker, Chloë Sevigny, Princes William and Harry, Abraham Lincoln, Marc Jacobs (above), Keith Richards, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Eminem, and members of the Kennedy family. And, on Wednesday, just one day after Barack Obama was elected president, Peyton's portrait of Michelle and Sasha Obama at the Democratic National Convention was unveiled at her Live Forever exhibit at New York's New Museum. The exhibit, which opened last month, runs through Jan. 11. To hear more and see more images of her work, read more.

While conceptual, her paintings are also very real. And though her subjects are often the untouchable, her paintings are also quite personal and intimate, showing celebrities in a light we rarely see them. What's also striking is her use of color; be it a single swatch of kelly green on a pair of loafers or a palette full of vibrant color, Peyton's work is a visual force to be reckoned with.

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