Instead having our pick of velvet Elvises or Elvii, we had found nothing. Had everyone hung on to their velvet fantasy paintings? We loved to scour antique stores and junk shops. The shop owners could have helped us sooner if we hadn’t been so embarrassed to ask. When we finally did ask the owner of one shop, he instantly turned to his pile of auction catalogues, murmuring,”It’s here somewhere, under Hawaiiani.” “Gesundheit!” we replied. He pulled a fat catalogue out. Did that say Sotheby’s on the cover?
“They’re incredibly hard to get. Most of them have had a hard life and velvet is very fragile. Did you have a price range in mind?” Price range? How about 5 bucks? At that point, we were gently told about the price a velvet Elvis would cost. I’ve written about abandoned art before. In this case, the reverse had happened. Unknown artists had flamed their black velvets with their electric pigments and sold their art for a few dollars and forty years later had become a hot ticket in the art world. Far too rich for our blood.
I’m still looking. The internet has copies by the thousands. Maybe this year will be the one. There is still the problem, Young Elvis or Older Elvis? Which do you prefer?