Eight Elvises

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Eight Elvises
Eight Elvises.jpg
Artist Andy Warhol
Year 1963 (1963)
Type Silkscreen on canvas
Dimensions 200 cm × 370 cm (6.5 ft × 12 ft)
Location Private collection

Eight Elvises is a 1963 silkscreen painting by American pop artist Andy Warhol. In 2008 it was sold for $100 million to a private buyer, making the painting the most valuable work by Andy Warhol at the time. The current owner and location of the painting, which has not been seen publicly since the 1960s, are unknown.

Background[edit]

Eight Elvises is composed of eight identical, overlapping images of Elvis Presley in cowboy attire, silkscreened over a silver background.[1][2] The painting was originally a portion of a 37-foot long piece, containing sixteen copies of Elvis, that was showcased in a 1963 exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition, Warhol's second at the Ferus, contained several other pieces using the same image of Elvis, as well as a series of head shots of Elizabeth Taylor.[1] The images of Elvis were taken from a publicity still from the movie Flaming Star.[3] When the gallery was dismantled, the section with eight images of Elvis became a distinct piece, measuring 6½ feet tall by 12 feet wide.[2][4] While Warhol created 22 versions of the painting with two Elvises on it, known as Double Elvis (Ferus Type), only one piece titled Eight Elvises was created.[2][5]

The painting was purchased by Italian collector Annibale Berlingieri in the late 1960s, and has not been seen publicly since then.[2][6]

2008 sale[edit]

In 2008 Eight Elvises was sold in a private sale for $100 million to an unidentified collector.[6] News of the sale, which was not announced publicly at the time, was broken by art writer Sarah Thornton and published in The Economist in late 2009.[2][6] The deal was brokered by Philippe Ségalot, a New York based art dealer and one time head of the contemporary art department at Christie's auction house.[6][7] The sale made Eight Elvises one of the most expensive paintings ever sold, and made Warhol only the fifth artist, behind Pablo Picasso, Gustav Klimt, Jackson Pollock, and Willem De Kooning to have a painting sold for at least $100 million.[6] The current location of the painting is unknown.[6]

Another painting from 1963, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), broke the valuation record for a Warhol work set by Eight Elvises when it sold for $105 million at auction in November 2013.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b McCarthy (2006), 354
  2. ^ a b c d e Johnson, Andrew (29 November 2009). "The $100m Warhol". The Independent. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  3. ^ McCarthy (2006), 363
  4. ^ McCarthy (2006), 356
  5. ^ Lerner, George (10 May 2012). "Warhol 'Double Elvis' goes for $37 million". CNN. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "The Pop master's highs and lows". The Economist. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Vogel, Carol (23 September 2010). "Auction World’s Blast of Brash". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Andy Warhol auction record shattered". BBC News. BBC. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 

References[edit]

McCarthy, David (June 2006). "Andy Warhol's Silver Elvises: Meaning through Context at the Fetus Gallery in 1963". Art Bulletin 88 (2): 354–372. Retrieved 30 November 2013.