In terms of high profile friendships, or even high-profile acquaintances, the frisson that passed between Alice Cooper and Andy Warhol when both were testing the high points of their own powers shouldn’t go un-noted. Back in 2017, Cooper, after apparently having forgot about it for years at a time, recalled that he had an Andy Warhol canvas in storage that he’d been given in 1974. Now, Cooper is apparently planning to auction off the artwork, entitled Little Electric Chair, in October via the Arizona art dealer Larsen Gallery. Little Electric Chair is valued at between $2.5 million and $4.5 million.
As the story goes, when Cooper was touring in the 1970’s, he used an actual electric chair as part of his macabre stage persona. Knowing this, Cindy Langa, his girlfriend at the time, purchased him the Warhol piece for a grand total of $2,500. Subsequently, Cooper rolled up the artwork, put it in a Los Angeles storage facility and went ahead to forget about it for the next several years. It’s a shame that he forgot about it, because Little Electric Chair is a particularly dark example of the Warholian perspective, if indeed it is authentic. The blood red hue of the canvas only adds to the ambiance.
Given the fact that the supposed Warhol is unsigned, Cooper enlisted the art dealer Richard Polsky in order to authenticate it. The fact that the 22-by-28-inch silkscreen is being auctioned off in Arizona is unusual, given the fame of its supposed author, but as Artnews points out, Cooper’s would-be Warhol can’t be reviewed by Warhol’s estate. That’s because the authentication board of the Andy Warhol Foundation was dissolved in 2011. So, any prospective buyer of the Cooper Warhol will just have to trust in the rocker’s claim that the piece is genuine.