Justin Bieber Painting Wows World Art Show: Elizabeth Peyton ‘Beliebs’

Justin Bieber may be pop music’s bad boy, but as a painting he is an ethereal Adonis.

The teen superstar has been immortalized by renowned artist Elizabeth Peyton and was presented last week at Art Basel, a world famous art show featuring modern and contemporary works from close to 300 international art galleries.

Often compared to Andy Warhol, Peyton, 48, is well known for her iconic, androgynous oil (also watercolor, pencil and etching) portraits of popular culture names including David Bowie, Kanye West, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Prince William and Prince Harry, Chloë Sevigny, Marc Jacobs, Abraham Lincoln, Eminem, and members of the Kennedy family.

Now, Peyton’s expert eye has turned to Justin Bieber.

Rendering the pop prince in oil on wood veneered aluminium, it’s an undeniable honor for the singer that one of the world’s most respected and beloved contemporary artists now adds him to her impressive portfolio.

Titled Never Say Say (Justin) after his mega-successful hit and nearly $100 million grossing 2011 concert-biopic of the same name, Peyton’s painting depicts Bieber in reflective, vulnerable mode, that’s somehow apt for the times.

Justin Bieber Painting Heats Up Art Show
Elizabeth Peyton,
Never Say Never (Justin)
oil on wood veneered aluminum
29.2 x 22.9 cm / 11.5 x 9 in,
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Represented by the Sadie Coles HQ gallery in London, which specializes in British contemporary art by young artists, IQ was told Peyton painted Bieber in “knowingly romanticized and sumptuous terms,” and chose him because he is an artist she admires.

Peyton used luminous pinks and blues bordered by thicker graphic lines to bring Bieber to painted life, with an intention to evoke the “dual allure and mystique, intimacy and distance, characterizing modern celebrity.”

And, oddly enough, it does.

Recently cleared of all wrongdoing in an alleged hit and run accident involving a paparazzo outside the Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood, Bieber is now six months into a 2013 that continues to trail police investigations, lawsuits, paparazzi, dramatic incidents (some alleged) and, at times, face-palm media reporting — but he’s still standing. At 19.

Here at IQ, we think the painting’s great. It will be interesting to see who buys it and how much it goes for.

But what do you think readers? Do you think Peyton captured an aspect of the true Biebs behind the headlines, or is this Bieber Fever as art?

[Image via Just Jared]