“They don’t seem like art to me” (Conductor’s Reflections #6)

“They don’t seem like art to me,” is how ElvisBlog’s Phil Arnold inexplicably dismisses the Elvis works of the legendary Andy Warhol in his post today commemorating Flaming Star (50th Anniversary Movie Pictorials: Flaming Star – 1960 — ElvisBlog).

The Warhol works are derived from a publicity photo of Elvis as he appeared in the 1960 film. Warhol’s 1963 piece Triple Elvis is in the collection of the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts.

I saw it several times as a kid. It is quite stunning in person and very much “art.” I am hoping it will still be on display when the Elvis At 21 Alfred Wertheimer exhibit arrives there late next year.

Of course, there are also people out there who say that Elvis was never a singer, much less an artist, so I suppose Warhol is in good company.

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Flaming Star, one of Elvis’ best movies, was directed by Don Siegel – who went on to direct Clint Eastwood in a number of films, including Dirty Harry. The end of the Eastwood-directed Unforgiven (1992) includes the dedication “To Sergio and Don,” his mentors. “Sergio” is Sergio Leone, who directed Eastwood in what became known as The Man With No Name trilogy, and “Don” is Don Siegel.