Andy Warhol’s Cowboy “Double Elvis” Could Bring $50 Million at Auction

Andy Warhol’s Cowboy “Double Elvis (Ferus Type)” Could Bring $50 Million at Auction

An iconic portrait of Elvis Presley by pop artist Andy Warhol is poised to go for as much as $50 million when it hits the auction block in May at Sotheby’s. The life-size 1963 painting, Double Elvis (Ferus Type), epitomizes Warhol’s obsessions with fame, stardom and the public image, according to Sotheby’s. Estimated to sell for $30 million to $50 million, it will be included in the auction house’s May 9th sale of post-war and contemporary 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. That work soared to nearly $44 million or four times its estimate in 2009 and achieved the highest price of any work at the fall auctions. But it was a work from Warhol’s Death and Disaster series that set the artist’s record, which still stands. Green Car Crash (Green Car Burning), also from 1963, more than doubled its estimate and sold for $71.7 million in 2007, at the height of the art market boom.

In the Double Elvis work, Presley is dressed as a cowboy, shooting a gun. Sotheby’s describes him in the work as “a Hollywood icon of the sixties rather than the rebellious singer who shook the world of music in the sixties.” The double in the title refers to a shadowy image of Presley in the same pose that appears next to him in the work.

Bob Dylan Holding “Double Elvis” at The Factory, NYC, 1965

On an eagerly-awaited visit to The Factory in 1965 for one of Warhol’s “Screen Test” sessions, Bob Dylan and his crew, along with their host Andy Warhol, were photographed on the set. At the session, Andy gave Dylan a great double image of Elvis. Dylan departed, having tied the Elvis image to the top of his station wagon, like a deer poached out of season. Much later, Dylan said that he’d traded the “Double Elvis” (now worth millions) to his manager for a couch!

Bob Dylan’s Screen Test, The Factory, NYC, 1965

Andy Warhol’s “Double Elvis (Ferus Type)” at May 9th Sotheby’s Auction

Andy Warhol’s Pop Art: A Documentary (2000)

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was a leading figure in the visual pop art movement. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement. He worked in a range of media, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, film and music. He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. Andy Warhol is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio in New York City, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy patrons.

Andy Warhol’s Pop Art: A Documentary (2000)

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Réflexion: A Frightening Tale of Evil Spirits Within

Réflexion: A Frightening Tale of Evil Spirits Within

Remember the parable about the woman who heard the sounds of horrible monsters right outside her house and frantically ran around locking all her doors and windows, only to discover that the monsters were really inside the house, specifically inside of her? Well a similar tale is played out in Réflexion, a poetic, funny and absurd animated short film produced by the Parisian group Planktoon in association with Disney animator Yoshimichi Tamura. Réflexion is a tribute to Disney films from 60-to-70 years ago, which is built around the concept of reflection. What happens when one’s inner conflict becomes a version of the Evil Queen mirror? Just watch and find out!!

Réflexion: A Frightening Tale of Evil Spirits Within

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Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins: Jennifer Hudson Breaks Down on the Stand

Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins: Jennifer Hudson Breaks Down on the Stand

In a surprise move, Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson was called as the prosecution’s first witness in the Hudson family murder trial in Chicago. The award-winning singer and actress broke down and cried on the witness stand Monday as she recalled the brutal 2008 murders of her mother, brother and young nephew, allegedly at the hands of her jealous brother-in-law, William Balfour. “It was always me and my Tugga Bear,” she told jurors of her beloved 7-year-old nephew Julian King.

Balfour is accused of killing Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in the Southside Chicago home where the Hollywood star grew up. Balfour allegedly killed Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, in the living room, then shot her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed. He then drove off with her sister’s son, Julian King, and later shot the boy, nicknamed “Juice Box,” in the head as he lay behind a front seat, authorities say.

It is anticipated that Jennifer Hudson will attend the entire trial. She was accompanied to court today by her fiancé, the professional wrestler David Otunga. Following her 30-minute testimony, she joined him in the fourth row of the courtroom.

Read more about the trial in The Chicago Tribune here.

Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins

Interview: Jury Expert Discusses Hudson Murder Trial

Jennifer Hudson: And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going

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Invincible Cities: Harlem’s Painted Lady on East 125th Street

Invincible Cities: 65 East 125th St. (1977)

Invincible Cities: 65 East 125th St. (1977)

Invincible Cities: 65 East 125th St. (1990)

Invincible Cities: 65 East 125th St. (1998)

Invincible Cities: 65 East 125th St. (2001)

Invincible Cities: 65 East 125th St. (2007)

Invincible Cities: 65 East 125th St. (2009)

Invincible Cities: 65 East 125th St. (2009)

Invincible Cities: Harlem’s Painted Lady on East 125th Street

The ghetto poses urgent questions I feel compelled to respond to,
Not with solutions but with explanations and tangible records.
I am driven to publicize and preserve the memory of these environments.
–Camilo José Vergara

Camilo José Vergara has spent more than thirty years documenting poor, urban and minority neighborhoods across the United States. His projects emerge from a large archive of images he has made since 1977 of the nation’s largest ghettos. His exhaustive research has taken him to Camden and Newark, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Gary, Indiana; Maine; New York; and Los Angeles. Vergara takes his camera to places plagued by the drug trade, and to neighborhoods filled with homeless shelters, prisons, and drug treatment facilities. He is a prolific photographer who continues to live in New York City. Vergara has been the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

Vergara describes his approach as interdisciplinary, using techniques from fields that include sociology, architecture, photography, urban planning, history and anthropology. He has focused upon the gradual erosion of urban neighborhoods by photographing the same structures repeatedly over decades in order to capture the process of of urban decay. The photography presented here is from Vergara’s project entitled Invincible Cities. He returned to the same intersection in Harlem and photographed the changes in one building for 38 years. The images create a composite, time-lapse portrait of one of New York City’s most vibrant and distinctive areas.

Camilo Vergara Documents the Changing Urban Landscape

Photo-Gallery: Invincible Cities: Harlem’s Painted Lady on East 125th Street

(Please Click Image to View Photo-Gallery)

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Legendary Levon Helm, Drummer and Singer of The Band, Dead at 71

Legendary Levon Helm, Drummer and Singer of The Band, Dead at 71

Levon Helm, legendary singer and drummer for the acclaimed and influential rock group The Band, died on Thursday, April 19th in New York City of throat cancer. He was 71. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his friends and bandmates. A very sad note signed by his daughter and wife had appeared Tuesday on the official website for multiple Grammy winner Levon Helm:  “Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer,” said the note. “Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration…he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage.”

Levon Helm had reached the final stages of his battle with cancer, which was first diagnosed in the late 1990s. He recovered, but it took him many years to recover his singing voice. At last Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, former Band guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson told the audience, “We all need to send out love and prayers to my Band mate Levon Helm.”

Mr. Helm, a native of Arkansas whose father was a cotton farmer, was an important member of The Band, lending his steady beat and weathered voice to the group’s signature hit songs, such as: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Weight, Rag Mama Rag and Daniel and the Sacred Harp. The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Read more about Levon Helm’s death in Rolling Stone here and in the New York Times here.

Listen to Levon Helm’s Finest Moments: From The Weight to Atlantic City. Eighteen tracks from The Band co-founder’s incredible career: The Rolling Stone Playlist

View the Slide Show: Levon Helm Through the Years here.

View another Slide Show: Levon Helm’s Musical Journey here.

Levon Helm and The Band: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (1969)

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

Levon Helm and The Band: The Weight (Woodstock 1969)

(Best Viewed in HD-Mode}

The Band with The Staple Singers: The Weight (From “The Last Waltz” 1978)

Levon Helm’s Life After Cancer

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LA Light: The Electric Radiance of Los Angeles at Night

LA Light: The Electric Radiance of Los Angeles at Night

LA Light is a truly stunning, serene time-lapse short film by filmmaker Colin Rich, which has been nominated for Best Lyrical Video at the 2012 Vimeo Festival+Awards. The acclaimed film brilliantly captures the electric radiance of Los Angeles at night, paired with the lushly stellar music of Cinematic Orchestra’s To Build A Home from their album Ma Fleu.

LA Light: The Electric Radiance of Los Angeles at Night

(Best Viewed in Full-Screen Mode, with Scaling Off)

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A Tribute: For Levon Helm, With Prayers and Love

A Tribute: For Levon Helm, With Prayers and Love

A very sad note signed by his daughter and wife appeared yesterday on the official website for multiple Grammy winner Levon Helm, the drummer-singer of the acclaimed and influential rock group, the Band. “Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer,” says the note. “Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration…he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage.”

Levon Helm, the drummer and singer with the Band, has reached the final stages of his battle with cancer, which was first diagnosed in the late 1990s. He recovered, but it took him many years to recover his singing voice. At Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, former Band guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson told the audience, “We all need to send out love and prayers to my Band mate Levon Helm.”

Mr. Helm, a native of Arkansas whose father was a cotton farmer, was an important member of the Band, lending his steady beat and weathered voice to the group’s signature hit songs, such as: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Weight, Rag Mama Rag and Daniel and the Sacred Harp. The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Update: Levon Helm, legendary singer and drummer for the Band, died on Thursday, April 19th in New York of throat cancer. He was 71. Read more here.

Listen to Levon Helm’s Finest Moments: From The Weight to Atlantic City. Eighteen tracks from the Band co-founder’s incredible career: The Rolling Stone Playlist

View the Slide Show: Levon Helm Through the Years here.

View another Slide Show: Levon Helm’s Musical Journey here.

Levon Helm and The Band: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (1969)

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Screen Mode)

Levon Helm and The Band: The Weight (Woodstock 1969)

(Best Viewed in HD-Mode]

Levon Helm’s Life After Cancer

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