Andy Warhol's Double Elvis artwork could sell for $50m

Double Elvis (Ferus Type) by Andy Warhol Of the 22 works in the Elvis series, nine are in museum collections

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An Andy Warhol painting of singer Elvis Presley could fetch up to $50m (£31.7m) when sold in a New York auction in May.

Sotheby's said Double Elvis "epitomises the artist's obsessions with fame, stardom, and the public image".

The life-size painting is one of 22 pieces Warhol dedicated to the singer, and will be shown in London, Los Angeles and Hong Kong before the sale.

Eight Elvises was sold for $100m (£63.5m) in a private sale in 2008.

The highest amount paid at auction for a Warhol was Green Car Crash, which went for $71.7m (£45.5m) in 2007.

'Cinematic quality'

In the artwork, Presley is dressed as a gun-toting cowboy, while the double of the title refers to a shadowy image of the singer in the same pose.

The painting was first displayed - along with the other artworks in the series - at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1963.

The paintings encircled the gallery, reminiscent of early film, offering the artworks "a sense of motion, giving a cinematic quality to the paintings", Sotheby's said.

The auction house said the Elvis series marked a turning point in Warhol's career, "where he made a transition from a viewer of movies to a maker of them".

Of the 22 works in the Elvis series, nine are held in museum collections.

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