Andy Warhol

Alice Cooper's rock'n'roll warhol

Little Electric Chair. Photo courtesy of Alice Cooper.

Little Electric Chair. Photo courtesy of Alice Cooper.

Heavy metal musician and "Godfather of Shock Rock" Alice Cooper recently discovered that he has unknowingly owned a "Little Electric Chair" painting by Andy Warhol since 1972. The musician developed a friendship with Warhol in the early 1970s they both frequented Max's Kansas City. Warhol reportedly thought the painting, which depicts the electric chair at the notorious Sing Sing prison, was appropriate for Cooper, who performed a fake electrocution in his stage show.

It appears that Cooper purchased the work for USD $2,500 in 1972, but forgot that he done so. Cooper describes this period in his life as "a swirl of drink and drugs," and he was also admitted to a psychiatric hospital shortly thereafter.

The painting, which has never been stretched, was discovered rolled up in a tube in storage space owned by Cooper.

Comparable works from the "Little Electric Chair" series have sold at auction for up to USD $11.6 million.


Warhol vs. Trump in the 1980s


Since it's hard not to focus at this moment on how everything relates to Donald Trump, we might as well look back at his historical interactions with the art world. The Warhol Blog has an interesting overview of the artist's experiences with Trump during the 1980s. The two first met at a birthday party for notorious attorney and Trump advisor Roy Cohn in 1981. They subsequently encountered each other at The Factory in an arranged meeting to discuss commissions for Trump Tower. Although it was not yet built, Warhol produced a series of silkscreens with diamond dust based on the architectural models for the building.

When Trump came back to view the paintings, he reportedly was unhappy about the colors. Trump had already selected the basic gold and pink color scheme that persists in the building to this day and wanted paintings that would precisely match. Also, he balked at the price of the works. Warhol's perception was that, despite his efforts to develop an eponymous brand identified with luxury and excess, Trump himself was rather "cheap." The budding tycoon never purchased any of Warhol's paintings, and the artist disparaged him in all of his subsequent diary entries. Today, most of Warhol's "Trump Tower" paintings are in the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.