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Elvis has Left the Planet

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© Artwork copyright Adrian Blakey 2022

All art on this site is the original copyright work of Adrian Blakey and MUST NOT be used or copied without written permission.

Copyright also applies to photos, artwork descriptions and all images of artworks accessible on this website. 

Acrylic on canvas 61 X 76 cm / 24 X 30 inches

Elvis Presley had a profound impact on popular music and as a globally significant cultural icon is included in my Worldscape Collection.

Having decided to paint Elvis, I quickly discovered how difficult it would be to make him instantly recognizable- his appearance varied dramatically over time, and even between publicity and performance shots of the same time.

I decided to base my impression on a still shot of Elvis performing Jail House Rock in the 1957 film of the same name. The action was dynamic although he almost look likes he is seated here.

I've positioned Elvis floating high above the plains of Memphis and Las Vegas, with angel wings inspired by the wild capes and costumes of his Las Vegas days.

When he first released a single, local radio stations refused to play him, presuming his soulful blues music rooted in gospel sounded "black".

In the segregated America of the 1950's, this made him unacceptable to mainstream media. I represented this by detaching his face from his body to appear mask-like and attached by a cord to reveal his roots.

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