Alice Cooper Finds Vintage Warhol 'Rolled Up in a Tube'

It's been in storage for decades
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2017 9:10 AM CDT
Alice Cooper Finds Vintage Warhol 'Rolled Up in a Tube'
Alice Cooper performs live at the FM Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on May 13, 2016, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.   (Dave Scherbenco/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

Some people forget where they put their keys; others forget they own an Andy Warhol masterpiece that could be worth $10 million. That's how the Daily Beast frames a recent discovery by rock star Alice Cooper, who, for more than 40 years, has had in his keep a silkscreen created by Warhol, whom he became friends with in the '70s, his longtime manager, Shep Gordon, tells the Guardian. "It was all a swirl of drugs and drinking," Gordon says of the time in which Cooper came to own the Little Electric Chair image, part of Warhol's "Death and Disaster" series. The picture, which was based on a 1953 press pic from Sing Sing, features an electric chair similar to one Cooper employed in his over-the-top performances. Cooper's girlfriend at the time, Cindy Lang, arranged to buy the print for $2,500, then presented it to Cooper as a birthday gift, Gordon tells Artnet News.

However, Cooper eventually went "into an insane asylum for his drinking," Gordon tells the Guardian—and the silkscreen got placed in storage. Four years ago, during a dinner with an art dealer, the silkscreen came up, and the dealer insisted the print be tracked down. Luckily, Cooper's mom recalled they'd stored it, and the print was discovered "rolled up in a tube" in a storage locker. "You should have seen Alice's face when [the expert's] estimate came in," Gordon says. "His jaw dropped and he looked at me. 'Are you serious?'" Still, the silkscreen might not ever fetch what it's ostensibly worth: Warhol never signed it, meaning even though a Warhol expert vouched "100%" for it to the Guardian, it would be a hard sell without authentication. Which may be why Cooper is now considering hanging it up at home, per Gordon. (Alice Cooper isn't his real name.)

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