Elizabeth Peyton: “History is contained within people”
Ms. Peyton, what makes you choose a personality for your work: admiration or fascination?
Is there only one answer to this question? (Laughs) It’s not exactly like that. I just have a feeling of urgency that I want to make a picture of somebody. Probably because I’m very inspired by them or there is something I really want to know about or understand in them. So, fascination? Yes. Admiration? Yes. But also curiosity — I get fascinated by what people are doing and what they’re making and how it’s what I need at that moment.
Have you always harbored that fascination? Apparently you once considered becoming a stock broker instead of a painter.
Well, my parents were kind of bohemian so at one point, as a little bit of rebellion, I said I wanted to be a stock broker. It was something I could say to them that made them scratch their heads. But it really lasted about six months when I was 12! But for me, portraits have never gone out of style.
Róisín Murphy: “Everything became about music”
Ms. Murphy, when was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
It’s all out of my comfort zone! I never wanted to be a singer or anything; I wanted to be a visual artist actually but I had a love affair with the person that I started making music with, and that’s how I got into it. So I’m used to being out of my comfort zone like that — that’s where I feel comfortable: out of my comfort zone! (Laughs) But as I say, I was very surprised that Mark Brydon even agreed to do a six-album deal together with me as Moloko.
He was a proper producer and had put out all kinds of records. I was a singer-songwriter at the time but it was almost like a conceptual art attitude that I had to it. But I think that he wanted me with him and we were just so in love and that was where it came from.