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Elvis Is in the Building

Elvis is making a stop at the North Carolina Museum of Art if not in person at least in spirit.

Elvis I and II, a monumental work of art by Andy Warhol, has arrived for a visit from its home at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

This loan is one in a series of paintings Warhol made by screen-printing the image of Elvis Presley 28 times onto a roll of silver-painted canvas in different combinations—singles, doubles, triples, and superimposed images. He created the work for a show at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1963 and sent the entire roll of printed canvas with a set of variously sized stretchers to the gallery. He left it up to the gallery to cut the canvas to fit the stretchers, resulting in five single images, six superimposed images, and two diptychs of paired images, including this one. Melding high and low, Warhol used a mechanical silkscreening process to make these works, intentionally creating what he called “an assembly-line effect.” He presents Elvis life-size and dressed as a cowboy (from a publicity still for the 1960 movie Flaming Star) and multiplies his star power by four.

The event this past Friday was to welcome the Elvis artwork which will be in the museum until April 7th. It is a pretty fascinating piece and free to visit. We had fun at the reception and took a little time to walk around and take a few pictures of in the new building as well. If you get a chance stop by and see the piece before it is gone. It is easy to find and whether you spend the day or just a few minutes at the Museum of Art it is always time well spent.