On May 9, Auction house Sotheby’s will put a portrait of Elvis Presley done by Andy Warhol up for bid. An Andy Warhol portrait of Elvis Presley depicted as a cowboy is expected to sell for between $30 million and $50 million at Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Art Evening Sale. The DOUBLE ELVIS painting which is one of the 22 Elvis silkscreens that were first exhibited at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in late 1963. Nine of them are in museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The life-size painting from 1963, named Double Elvis (Ferus Type), epitomises Warhol’s obsessions with fame, stardom and the public image, according to Sotheby’s. 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 a statement.
Eight Elvises, also a 1963 silkscreen painting, sold to a private collector in 2009 for $100 million (that’s $12.5 million per Elvis), making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold.
The last double Elvis that came up for auction was nearly two decades ago in 1995. Prices for Warhols have soared dramatically since then, with works featuring pop culture icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor fetching top prices.
Before going on sale, DOUBLE ELVIS (Ferus Type) shall be going on a world tour which shall include stops at Los Angeles, Hong Kong and London.