We all made our fair share of poor choices, but the “stupid thing” cost him $750,000 from Bob Dylan.
Dylan went home with an expensive portrait of ‘Double Elvis’ after meeting Andy Warhol through a mutual friend, even though he was totally unaware of its worth.
How Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol’s paths crossed
It all began with Warhol’s “Screen Tests,” in which in the ’60s he depicted numerous individuals. Warhol has made his own pool of superstars in these short films,”In these short films, Warhol created his own pool of superstars,” “Superstars are actors who are interesting enough to carry a film on their own – not by playing a particular role, but simply by being themselves.”
None other than Dylan was among those superstars invited to be one of Warhol’s test subjects.
According to Fred Bals, filmmaker Barbara Rubin invited him to “shoot two-minute silent film portraits with Factory regulars and outside celebrities.” The meeting’s accounts are vague, but either 1965 or 1966 is said to have been.
In any event, Dylan is said to have “stared glumly at the camera for a few minutes and then (depending on the narrator) was given or appropriated a Warhol silkscreen of two overlapping images of Elvis Presley, part of the so-called Silver Elvis series.”
Given the importance of such a painting, many have questioned why it was given to Dylan by Warhol in the first place.
In the 1960s, in the lives of artists such as Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground, Barbara Rubin played an important part. Our “Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground” #DocumentaryOfTheWeek sheds light on the experimental filmmaker. The Nearest Bob Dylan Got to a No. 1 Single May 25, 2019 https://t.co/9d7exZ2M7J- WNYC (@WNYC)
Why did Andy Warhol send an Elvis painting to Bob Dylan?
“Some “accounts have Dylan and Warhol doing a ‘You’re cool, man,” No, you’re cooler, man’ potlatch dance around each other, according to Fred Bals, which ended with Warhol reluctantly giving away Elvis.
Not so lighthearted are other accounts. Some say that Dylan insisted on the painting as payment for his screen test and “shoved the painting into the freight elevator before anyone in Warhol’s camp could object.”
There may not be public knowledge of the exact accounts of how the transaction went down.
But it is a fact that Warhol acknowledged that he gave Dylan the painting and took away some sort of theft from the table. Regardless, the most interesting aspect of the story is the rumors of how Dylan handled it.
‘1970’ 3-disc album, out 2/26 Features previously unheard outtakes on nine tracks from the ‘Self Image’ and ‘New Morning’ sessions, as well as the full studio recordings with George Harrison on May 1, 1970. https://t.co/vKiTpzQ79E pic.twitter.com/ImWKDGClbE- Bob Dylan (@bobdylan) 18 December 2020 What did Bob Dylan do with the painting of Andy Warhol?
Warhol strongly believed Dylan was going to make it big.
But Dylan had a different impression of Warhol, supposedly, and did horrible things with the painting he gave him. According to Fred Bals, Warhol once said, “I’ve heard rumors that he used the Elvis as a dartboard up in the country,”
Despite what Warhol had learned, the painting was actually sold to his manager by Dylan. “I once traded an Andy Warhol ‘Elvis Presley’ painting for a sofa, which was a stupid thing to do,” Dylan said, according to the Spin issue. “I always wanted to tell Andy what a stupid thing I [did], and if he had another painting he would give me, I would never do it again.”
That being said, Dylan seems to have not ruined Warhol’s gift. Instead, according to ElvisBlog, his manager’s widow allegedly got $750,000 for the duplicate Elvis portrait. Hopefully, it was worth the couch Dylan got.