Portrait of Elvis Presley by American painter Andy Warhol – the only portrait of this artist in natural size – is on sale and from today it can be seen at the London gallery of auction house Christie’s. It is expected to fetch $30 million.
On the painting, called Double Elvis, the famous musician is shown with a revolver in his hand, in his release from the 1960 – “Flaming Star”, with a reflection of his character in the background.
The silver background conveys a sense of glamour, while also serving a practical purpose—the opacity of the spray paint allowed Warhol to easily mask and silkscreen multiple images on top of each other. Double Elvis originally belonged to a long, continuous canvas of Elvises that was later cut and stretched into multiple paintings.
The artist’s interest in film might explain why he created Elvis in double—the singer/actor appears to be moving back and forth, as if in a film strip.
Chrisie’s will offer Double Elvis Portrait made in silver-black technique from 1963, at auction in New York on May 17, and from now until Tuesday, is on display at their London showroom.