Elvis Presley has been worth more dead than he ever was in his lifetime, but the late pop artist Andy Warhol could send the King of Rock through the stratosphere. A Warhol painting of Elvis is expected to set a new record at auction.
Presley is garbed in cowboy duds, with a six-gun drawn.
Click on photo to see the complete image.
Sotheby’s described him as “a Hollywood icon of the ’60s rather than the rebellious singer who shook the world of music.”
The auction house is set to sell the life-size painting, “Double Elvis (Ferus Type)” from 1963, and it has been valued as high as $50 million.
The work epitomizes Warhol’s obsessions with fame, stardom and the public image, according to Sotheby’s statement.
The auction house plans to sell the painting May 9 in a sale of post-war and contemporary art. Estimates range from $30 million to $50 million, but given the booming market for contemporary art, it could fetch even more.
Prices for Warhols have soared. Works featuring pop culture icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor fetched top prices.
A painting from the series last appeared at auction in 1995 when it fetched $497,500 at Christie’s in New York, according to Artnet, which tracks the market. In 2004, Christie’s sold a similar painting, “Single Elvis [Ferus Type],” for $3.4 million.
Of 22 works in Warhol’s Elvis series, nine are in museum collections, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
“The silver background of ‘Double Elvis (Ferus Type)’, along with the subtle variations in tone give the serial imagery a sense of rhythmic variation that recalls the artist’s masterpiece, ‘200 One Dollar Bills’ completed the previous year,” Sotheby’s said in the statement.
“Double Elvis” will be exhibited in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and London prior to the May sale.