Triple ElvisArtwork Factory
The photo of the singer Elvis Presley in the role of a gangster is the basis for this work. Andy Warhol repeated the same motif three times on a silver canvas. This repetition was made possible by the silkscreen technique, in which Andy Warhol saw many advantages for his artistic work. The pale figure of Elvis stands out against the metallic background as if in an old film or fog.
Single, Double, Triple Elvis
Single, double, triple, multiple—Using photographic templates, Andy Warhol made stencils that were built like a framed, flat sieve. Then the paint was pressed through the screen. This allowed Andy to repeat his motifs and print them as often as he liked onto canvas.
The screen-printing technique allows a template such as a photo or a picture from a newspaper to be printed on canvas. The screen, with its applied stencil, is reusable. This allows artists to use the same motif repeatedly and create a new design each time.
Andy Warhol cut out photos of stars from magazines and reproduces them: rock idol Elvis Presley as a gangster, presidential spouse and style icon Jackie Kennedy, or film legends such as Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood.
Prestige, admiration, adulation—many dream of it, but only a few make it to the very
top and enjoy the status of cultural icons.
When is a figure elevated to a myth? What role is played by the person and the media?
Violence as cliche
Andy Warhol deliberately chose dramatic moments that were staged by the media: Marilyn’s photo circulated shortly after her death; Jackie’s photo shows the last moment just before the fatal shooting of her husband, U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
At first glance, the cult figures promise gloss and glamor. But are appearances deceptive?
The silver canvas
What does silver canvas remind you of? What do you associate it with? Why is it an important part of the artistic idea of “Triple Elvis”?