There is no better candidate than the King of Rock and Roll to simulate a trepidation. Andy chooses a picture of Elvis Presley from a 1960 Western. The actor in the classic position of a movie cowboy is standing in front, legs apart and ready to shoot.
From this unique image Andy creates multiples with which he covers in a tight arrangement the walls of the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in September and October 1963. 22 artworks of this series are extant.
Some Elvis's by Warhol more specifically offer an illusion of movement. Although the original image is unique, the layout of a multiple reminds Marey, Muybridge and the Nude descending the staircase by Duchamp. A Triple Elvis 208 x 173 cm with uneven interval between the figures was sold for $ 82M including premium by Christie's on November 12, 2014.
The Double Elvis 208 x 122 cm sold for $ 37M including premium by Sotheby's on May 9, 2012 is audacious. The big difference of contrast between the two overlapping printings creates an illusion of flicker. In discussing this artwork before that sale, I observed that the frenetic bustle of rock and roll is still perfectly personified by Warhol's Double Elvis half a century later.
That Double Elvis will be sold as lot 9 B by Christie's in New York on May 17. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for $ 37M including premium